Like the medical GP profession has developed an appreciation for complementary therapies as patients seek alternative remedies to improve standard of health, dental patients are learning about the importance of holistic dentistry. Education and easily accessed information through the internet mean more patients are now making informed choices on the type of dentistry they want.
The requirements to become a holistic dentist include an open mind and a determination to explore a broader range of health modalities than just dental, and interconnect them. It’s is very creative, interesting and exciting. Patients appreciate it, it’s sensible and is not particularly invasive.
The concept of holistic dentistry is fundamentally simple. At its core, holistic dentistry is a contemporary approach to dental treatment, examining patient’s overall health and wellbeing, not just teeth. Patient centred care is the core component of holistic healthcare. It involves the doctor and patient working together to devise a treatment plan, in consideration of the patient’s cultural traditions, preferences, values, beliefs and lifestyle. It requires transparency of the dentist and is manifested by adhering to ethical principles and seeing patients as human needing care.
But while more and more patients come to know about holistic dentistry, within the general dental profession attitudes and perceptions towards holistic dentistry differ. When the term holistic, professionals’ reaction is one of scepticism and it is viewed as a new age concept.
Holistic dentistry is involving the principle that a human being is a whole system, not just an assemblage of parts. Holistic dentist are concerned about the whole person than simply about what constituted one part of the oral system.
There are diverse but broadly encompass significant topics such as the use of certain dental materials and the issue of toxicity, nutrition, gum infection, and the effects of stress on teeth-for example jaw clenching and grinding.
In a holistic dentistry setting, patients are individually assessed on overall body health, diet, and social habits to determine the most effective dental procedures and their suitability.
Many dentists either don’t want or are incapable of forming relationship with patients and would rather just fix their teeth, their gums, their crowns, or perform root canal and implant than seeing patients as a real, live person.