What is a Biological Dentist? How does biological dentistry differ from your current general dental care? Read on and learn, as I did, and maybe you’ll be interested in making the switch too!
How does a biological dentist differ from your general dentist?
There is no school or accreditation or license that grants this title (as opposed to, say, an oral surgeon or orthodontist) of “Biological Dentist.” Rather, it’s a way of practicing dentistry - a philosophy; it is a mindset that looks at the cause of the illness or disease, and treats conservatively and safely in the least toxic way possible.
Their aim is to be minimally invasive, “maximally” preventive, and as natural as possible. The well-being of the mouth influences the health and wellness of the entire body. Music to my ears! As my faithful readers know, I’ve written extensively about the “oral-systemic connection.” Diseases from cardiovascular disease to cancers, still birth, rheumatoid arthritis, and even erectile dysfunction, all have a scientifically proven connection to gum disease.
No one was even talking about this in my previous “general dental” worlds. Instead, tradition ruled the roost. Six-month “cleanings” were standard of care. Holes found in teeth were promptly scheduled for drilling and filling. Then the entire process repeated itself every six months. Clean, drill, fill, repeat! Sound familiar?
Little or no prevention was ever discussed except maybe flossing lectures, and routine fluoride treatments. Time was of the essence! Get you in and out as fast as possible. (And we know how well that works!)
I’d haul around my microscope and show various dental professionals what’s lurking under the gumline. They’d be interested, sorta, but it all came back to “how can we make money doing this? How much time does it take? And why bother? Patients won’t do it unless insurance covers it.” How little faith they have in you!
I know different. Once I show my patients what’s living under the gumline, the very next question is what’s it going to take to get rid of it and make their mouth healthy!
Dentistry needs a shake up, and wake up call!
Meet Barbara Tritz, RDH, and holistic dental hygienist at Systemic Dentist, authored this post in her Queen of Dental Hygiene blog. We would like to share excerpts from her blog post, reprinted with her permission.
Let’s be clear. I’m not granola, hippy, new age, or even, I admit, very green. I do recycle and compost, have made and eaten my own yogurt and granola, but that’s about it. I’m just your average conventional, standard middle age lady.
I thought naturopath physicians were just too “out there”. There was (I thought) no research backing them up, and their take on detoxing heavy metals and homeopathy just too, I admit again, seemed weird, until I started working for Dr. Alireza Panahpour, a biological dentist, last year. Then, I started seeing some very interesting and incredible medical/dental connections and my world changed, drastically.
I began to see how the dental treatments as well as the pathogens associated with gum disease and tooth decay were invading and infecting all parts of the body, causing all the symptoms and infections about which I’ve written. Whoa! Things I thought were safe and effective such as fillings, root canals, fluoride, and extractions may not be so. That was my shake up and wake up call! These topics deserve their own blog posts so stay tuned for that down the road after I attend the International Academy of Oral Medical and Toxicology‘s seminar in September.
Biological Dentistry – the Difference
- Philosophy on anesthesia – as little as possible but enough to get the job done. Epinephrine in the anesthesia, or the “Novocaine” reduces blood flow to teeth, possibly contributing to pulpal nerve death!? More research is needed here!
- Silver mercury fillings– never! and removal of them is done under hazmat conditions due to toxicity of mercury vapors! Dental personnel don respirators and place a rubber dam on the patient and then use what’s affectionately called the “elephant” to suction the vapors out of the room.
- BPA-free fillings – no more BPA water bottles… but do you have it in your mouth? Traditional composite fillings may have BisGMA.
- Air Abrasion in place of the dental drill wherever possible
- Ozone Therapy for decay, sensitivity and healing
- Plasma Rich Protein– to enhance healing
- Prevention takes time to learn how to do it correctly! You really can stop bleeding gums and tooth decay. Learn and be proactive. Aren’t you tired of all that drill and fill? For starters:
- Nutrition! Yes, really, it starts with good, healthy food
- Chewing! Anybody analyze your chewing and swallowing lately!?
- Ozone to kill the bad bacteria and viruses
- Probiotics to replenish the good bacteria
- More natural, less abrasive toothpastes as well as other products and procedures to keep your mouth healthy and achieve oral wellness
- Testing! Just like your medical doc – instead of relying just on visual inspection of your teeth and gums!
- Look at the bacteria (imagine that! my phase contrast microscope was ahead of its time, I was a biological dental hygienist before it was cool!)
- Salivary diagnostics to determine bacterial levels
- Pathology lab testing of blood, tissue and bone to again determine bad pathogen levels
- Tooth decay bacteria measured, as well as testing of salivary oral pH
- And my personal favorite!
- They address the airway, and jaw development, tongue ties, orofacial dysfunctions, as well as sleep related breathing disorders. Imagine my excitement! Offices that take the airway development very seriously! Dentists should be keeper of the airway! The first line of defense is teaching orofacial myofunctional therapy to folks to help them achieve proper tongue placement, proper nasal breathing and proper chewing. Especially children! Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy – about as noninvasive, proactive and natural as you can get!
What about Dental Insurance?
Prevention is stressed in the biological office – our goal being less dentistry is best dentistry.
While your dental insurance is important, we do not let that dictate or determine our path in creating an optimum plan for you. We will always give you our opinion as to the best, most effect treatment plan to help you keep your mouth healthy. It’s up to you to choose what works best for you, your family and your budget. We all don’t have an unlimited supply of money. It’s up to you to decide how best to use your resources. Ultimately, it’s about your health and quality of life. (IMHO, if you only do what insurance dictates, you will never be healthy.)
Where are these fabulous, forward thinking 21st Century Biological Dental Offices?
Meet Biological Dentist Dr. Panahpour.
I work in the office of Dr. Alireza Panahpour– located near Seattle in Bellevue, Washington. Dr. Panahpour has taken the time to teach me so very much about biological dentistry and opened my eyes to the root causes of disease. He’s a talented dental surgeon. Join me there Tuesdays and Wednesdays! Call to schedule: 1-888-338-6336.
Washington Oral Wellness – Wise Oral Wellness
I’m also seeing patients for Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy at Washington Oral Wellness in Kirkland and through Skype by appointment. Myo teaches people to nasal breathe, as well as swallow and chew properly. You’d think that wouldn’t be something you have to learn, but look around you at all the folks with head forward posture, open mouth, shoulders slouched, crooked teeth, and TMJ pain. Myo therapy may well be the best kept secret miracle!
Hope you are as intrigued as I am about holistic, biological dentistry and its unique way of approaching oral health and total body wellness. Might be time to think about making a switch! Here’s your personal shake up, wake up call! If you’d like help sleuthing out such an office, email me. Or, make the trip to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. It’s worth it!
Keep smiling and laughing. It’s good for your soul!
Biological Dental Hygienist
Specialist in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy