What’s being “Holistic” got to do with dentistry?

 
 

We often get asked why we decided to use the term “Holistic” in the name of our practice or how are we holistic? 

Well, in a nutshell, Minimal Intervention Dentistry is by its very nature holistic in its approach to helping maintain long-term oral wellbeing. As a minimal intervention dental practice, we aim to diagnose disease at its earliest presentation and tackle the causes to prevent further harm. Our approach is very different to just jumping in with a drill and filling cavities as and when they appear.

Minimal intervention dentistry is, therefore, a person-centred approach to help our patients attain and sustain long-term oral health. Two patients that have the same disease may need be managed in very different ways, and so we need understand you as a whole and not just see you as a mouth that happens to be attached to a body. 

We believe that we as clinicians should stop fragmenting the body into different parts and should stop seeing disease as a problem of specific organs.

As dentists, we tend to focus on oral disease (tooth decay, gum disease, tooth wear etc.) and then the technical aspects of dental treatment on how to “restore to health”. This outdated biomedical model of health links clinical signs to the mechanism of the disease process to guide diagnosis and treatment. It is obsolete because it restricts the way we think about health as many human diseases don’t have a single causative factor. For example, there is increasing evidence to indicate that there is a relationship between oral and systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. We recognise that bacteria associated with gum disease and components of the gum disease process itself affect remote biological systems that at first appear wholly unrelated and that some of these bacteria can even increase our risk of cancer.

Our care plans, therefore, consider health, wellbeing and life more widely than the symptoms or condition that you as a patient present with. We care about the health of your entire body and mind and not just individual parts of your body. We will see beyond your teeth and gums and see you as a person, listen to your concerns, and in partnership with you, we will develop individualised care plans that respect your point of view.

As we also understand that you are unique and have different sensitivities, we will also source the most biocompatible dental materials suitable for you. 

Additionally, as an adjunct to your care at the practice, we are grateful to have several independent practitioners (Nutritionist, Acupuncturist, Homoeopath and an EFT Practitioner) who can help support you physically, mentally and emotionally should you wish.  

For the next generation…

Finally, the term “holistic” emphasises the organic relation between parts and the whole. From an environmental point of view we, as a dental practice, want to reduce our carbon footprint so that we can do our part for the whole. Therefore, to mitigate our impact on the environment we decided to set up an eco-friendly dental practice.

In line with the long-term aim of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, we do not place mercury amalgam fillings. We want to protect the environment from the release of mercury and so won’t put them in your mouth.

Isn’t it time to put the mouth back in the body? 

Davinder Raju.

Davinder Raju