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Choosing a Holistic Dentist

Updated: Mar 17

Many years ago, when I first learned about the possible health hazards associated with mercury fillings, I went to a holistic dentist to have my mercury fillings removed. Not a big deal. Just a couple of fillings. And I certainly was educated enough to know that I wanted a dentist who knew how to do this with the proper safety protocol so that I would be protected when this toxic material was removed from my teeth.

So imagine my surprise when this “holistic” dentist told me that the only way she would replace my fillings was if I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted and some major restorative work that would open my bite. Bear in mind, my asymptomatic wisdom teeth were fully erupted in my mouth and perfectly functional. I agree that some of my other teeth were a little bit worn (I like to eat), but certainly nothing that I would consider as a full mouth reconstruction case. So I remember sitting in the dental chair wondering how could she say this to me, a dental colleague, and expect me to accept this. She has got to be kidding!

And why would she offer me this aggressive diagnosis? It certainly did not seem holistic at all, extracting healthy teeth and crowning other healthy teeth. I wasn’t looking for a makeover; I was looking for a healthier mouth. This treatment plan actually seemed quite invasive and traumatic for my perfectly happy healthy mouth.

I should mention that when this occurred, I had already been a practicing dentist for over 20 years, so I already knew much about dentistry. I listened politely to what this dentist told me, and left.

Needless to say, I did not have my teeth treated there. Actually, I ended up having my mercury fillings replaced elsewhere; and I can happily report that all of my wisdom teeth are still fully intact (10 years later) and my slightly worn teeth are still slightly worn and serviceable.

So the reason that I tell you this story is for you to realize that it is always important to get a second opinion on any suggested dental treatment that you feel is not right. My point is that even though I am a dentist and I went to a dentist, that doesn’t mean that they would treat me any different than you. Actually, it took me three tries before I found a dentist who actually listened to what I wanted and didn’t inflict their insidious aggressive treatment on me.

And I need to point out that the dentist who finally did my mercury filling removal was not a dentist that was labeled “holistic”. But in all actuality, he was probably more holistic and naturally oriented than the "holistic" dentists that I did see.

Lesson learned: listen to your intuitive wisdom (teeth) and choose your dentist wisely. This applies to choosing other health practitioners as well.

If you like this posting, you may also like: Healthy Children Have Healthy Teeth

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