The Essence of the Dental Wellness Center
by Dr. McBride | Date Published: 2019-05-29 | Download PDF
The Dental Wellness Center’s health-centered offerings fall well outside the scope of what is taught in dental school, which mainly has the student learn how to perform procedures to repair and replace teeth. It is interesting that these are the main procedures that are listed on dental insurance benefits schedules, somewhat like “body parts” to be sold – crowns, implants, dentures, bridges, etc. – with little to no benefits for procedures that deal with the root causes for their need and regimens to prevent their need in the future. Although it is quite important for the dentist to have developed cognitive and dexterity skills concerning excellence in repairing and replacing teeth, traditional insurance driven dentistry focuses mainly upon that aspect of dental care: treating the results of disease, with minimal considerations of their underlying causes. An analogy would be an insurance-based medical doctor’s treatment based upon medications promoted by Big Pharma – alleviating symptoms, but not addressing the cause(s) of the patient’s condition. Dentistry is, in fact, an offshoot of the medical allopathic* model.
Why are there so few dentists and medical doctors primarily focusing on causes, rather than merely treating symptoms? It’s the way the system was developed, with Big Pharma’s influence on medicine and its link to medical insurance benefits. Both mainstream medicine and dentistry are joined at the hip with insurance companies that offer scant benefits for the essential elements of health development, such as the time it takes to get to know a patient. An authentic doctor-patient relationship involves time for it to occur through an intercommunication process to develop commitment and accountability on each of their parts in following through with effective preventive and treatment regimens, as the causes of underlying medical or dental problems cannot be remedied by a pill or a drill.
Holistic, or Biological dentistry, is not a separate specialty of dentistry, but a thought process and attitude that can apply to all facets of dental practice and to health care in general: to concentrate first on the causes of oral health problems rather than solely treating their results; to engage the patient in the health development process; then, to always seek the safest, least toxic way to accomplish the goals of optimum patient health care, and to recognize the essential connections between oral health and overall health.
Both medical and dental school graduates have been basically “conditioned” into assuming an allopathic mode of practice, where they are reimbursed by insurance company allowances – the medical doctor for symptom-based drugs, and the dentist for teeth repairs – neither of which address the cause for their need.
All holistic medical practitioners that I know started out in a traditional manner, but realized that mainstream treatments were quite limited in patients actually improving their health and quality of life. They ultimately had to “buck the system” by learning about alternative health-centered modalities of more extensive, individualized patient diagnostic testing methods that lead to health-enabling regimens, such as nutrition, dietary supplements, exercise, herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. Although each person may have genetic variances that influence their state of health, the human body is designed to thrive if it can be assisted through proper individualized health-centered regimens. A parallel exists in dentistry, in that a holistic viewpoint involves a more time-consuming, diagnostic approach that includes a thorough review of a patient’s medical and dental history, and testing procedures that allow the dentist to be influential in directing proper care and guidance through effective preventive and treatment modalities that will positively affect the patients’ oral and systemic health – and self-esteem. (see before/after pics)
I believe that most new practitioners would like to help their patients at a deeper level rather than solely treating symptoms, but they are highly influenced from:
1 – The “lemming effect” of following the collective actions of their peers – a sort of “Group Think,” spurred by the urge to conform that discourages creativity and individual responsibility.
2 – Financial risk, with few to no insurance benefits for health-centered patient education and alternative remedies.
Some practitioners make an attempt to develop a more holistic mode of practice through providing both traditional and alternative services under the same roof, but find it difficult to simultaneously “serve two masters” by following two conflicting or opposing principles (Read My Philosophy article). This attempt is noble, however, as it offers a learning experience that will test the will of the doctor towards actually crossing the bridge into a more gratifying life of heightened patient help. The proof is that there are practitioners out there who have bridged the gap, and the success of the Dental Wellness Center is testimony to this effort.
Dental Wellness Center offerings:
- Time relegated to patient education. This gives the new patient an opportunity to get to know the treating doctor and team around him/her, and relate their oral health concerns.The process evolves into an experience of the patient having learned about their entire oral system to such a degree that they can plan its future to the degree of health that they wish. (Read An Educational, Trust-Building Approach To Dental Care article)
- Minimally Invasive, or Biomimetic Dentistry (Read Minimally Invasive, or BiomimeticDentistry article)
- Bioesthetic dentistry – offering both a naturally beautiful smile, along with optimum,pain-free function. (Read Bioesthetics – Looking at The Bigger Picture article)
- Oravital oral bacterial testing. There are over 600 oral bacteria species that can inhabit the mouth, some being found in the brain and swimming live in heart attack causing clots. This type of testing is done on each new patient, rather than starting out with a teeth cleaning that can possibly introduce these bacteria into one’s system. (Read Hygiene Arm of DWC article)
- Effective Sleep Apnea treatment on a par with CPAP therapy. (Read Snoring and Sleep Apnea – Big Breakthrough article)
- Effective TMJ therapy to relieve migraines, head, facial, neck and shoulder pain and other TMJ-related symptoms – such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
- Safe mercury amalgam filling removal – utilization of the IAOMT SMART protocol. (https://iaomt.org/resources/safe-removal-amalgam-fillings/)
- Natural full and partial denture therapy
- Allergy testing of all dental materials (Also see Clifford Testing article)
- Zirconia implants
It is my hope that after reading this article, as well as others on our website, the reader will have an understanding of the essence of the Dental Wellness Center that differentiates it from mainstream dentistry.
*A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.©2023 Robert P. McBride DDS, Inc. All Rights Reserved.