Oftentimes when one goes to a dentist, the dentist or dental hygienist will look at the state of one’s teeth and gums. Is there any sign of gum disease? Are there any cavities that might need filling? Have the gums receded too far and possibly exposed the root? Also, are people taking proper care of the areas around their dental implants? That’s a vital part of dentistry… but it’s not the whole spectrum of what the field can do. Then there’s holistic dentistry, which also factors in how a person is feeling, along with one’s gum health.

Sometimes a sign may say “Biological Dentistry”instead, which is the same thing as Holistic. When a practitioner sees a patient, they will observe the patient’s emotional state as well as what their mouth looks like. This is because many of the conditions and diseases that affect the body can begin at the mouth. Having poor oral hygiene can lead to diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory diseases, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, reproductive system disorders, and various forms of cancer.

What makes periodontal disease so insidious is that oftentimes the only symptoms may be bad breath and some bleeding of the gums. If ignored for too long, it can lead to the swift decline of one’s oral health, up to and including the loss of teeth. It can be contagious too, transmitted through kissing. This doesn’t stop at your mouth, though – it can invade your body through your bloodstream and also increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Holistic dental care strives to keep those from happening.

There are several things that holistic dentists eschew when it comes to caring for their patients. The first is traditional lead fillings, which can leak mercury – something that is detrimental to the patient’s health as time goes by. Many holistic dentists favor the removal of all the lead fillings and putting resin fillings in their place while others prefer to to just remove them on a case-by-case basis, especially if they are broken. Otherwise, they argue, the replacement of the fillings is a traumatic event for the patient and an adjustment period.

Digital X-Rays are another topic that holistic dentists are trending toward. They feel that traditional X-rays, even though they are given in small doses, can represent a health hazard, whereas the digital ones are safer – plus they can give a wider range of views for the dentist or specialist to view. These X-rays can even be done in 3-d, which makes for a much better diagnostic tool than interpreting the 2-d X-rays against a lightbox.  Dr. Dorothy Anasinski and the staff at Dental Specialists of Niles believe in holistic dentistry. She is certified by the Optimum Oral Health Institute and puts her extensive education in this area to use every day with her patients.