A growing body of medical research confirms the strong connection between poor dental health and chronic disease, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Some dentists now dedicate their practices to a “holistic” approach: to improving and protecting overall health, not just what happens in your mouth. This has been the approach of The Dental Wellness Center for over 30 years. Standard dentistry is basically a “restorative” profession, concerned with teeth cleanings, filling cavities, making crowns, replacing teeth and improving their appearance. Most of these procedures treat only the results of dental disease. Dentists with a holistic approach, however, work in an entirely different way – they primarily look for the cause of the problem before treating the results.
The mouth is a very unique part of the body, as it is a very sensitive area both physically and emotionally. It has been reliably reported that 50% of the American population does not seek regular dental care, and a large factor in this is anxiety and fear surrounding the dental office experience. This is why the core of The Dental Wellness Center philosophy involves developing trusting and positive relationships between the dentist, patient and staff. This crucial element of the Wellness Center is experienced on a daily basis by our patients. We offer an environment where a friendly and efficient team works with each patient, allowing adequate time depending on the persons’ individual needs.
Although a holistic approach does include teeth cleanings, filling cavities, making crowns, and replacing/improving the appearance of teeth, there is a vast difference in the philosophy behind how these procedures are delivered, as mentioned above. A holistic approach looks at how the state of your mouth affects and reflects everything about your overall health. This is why we have new patients fill out extensive health forms prior to their first appointment, followed by a doctor-patient interview to review medical and dental histories. We also take into consideration factors such as a persons’ apprehension from past dental experiences, sensitivity to dental materials, difficulty in becoming numb, etc. This initial information gathering process helps us to learn how persons’ current dental issues may be impacting their general health or conversely, how the state of their general health may be influencing that of their mouth.
By taking into consideration the mouth/body connection with every dental treatment performed, we find that patients often experience profound improvements to their general health as well as their dental health. Some examples are:
- Proper treatment of gum disease resulting in improved general health.
- Safe removal of mercury from teeth resulting in improved general health.
- Comments by patients such as, “I have much more energy!”
- Elimination of head, neck and back pain through an understanding of what makes up a healthy oral system by application of the Bioesthetic principles as explained below.
Unique to the core of The Dental Wellness Center is knowledge of how a healthy mouth appears and functions – yes, in dentistry there is a definite relationship between form and function. This was researched well by Dr. Robert L. Lee, a biologist/dentist who introduced biology into the ways in which traditional dental practices restored teeth. He coined the term, “Bioesthetics” defined as, “The study or theory of the beauty of living things in their natural forms and function.” His research revealed, among other things, that when the teeth contact with one another improperly in chewing and swallowing (up to 2000 times a day), it can result in head, neck, jaw joint and back pain, migraines, worn teeth, balance problems and ringing in the ears. Here are some interesting facts discovered about many of the new patients coming to The Dental Wellness Center:
- Most have had past dental treatments performed (crowns, fillings, bridges) without consideration of the form/function relationship of teeth.
- Most were unaware that their symptoms were bite related.
- Many of these patients also had past orthodontic treatment.
Many of the Wellness Center’s patients have been and are continually being successfully treated for the above symptoms. In the Wellness Center, we evaluate the patient’s bite before any restorative or teeth replacement treatment is started. We create an understandable written Review of Findings and Treatment Plan for the patient, discussing options and answering questions as the first step prior to treatment. We also specialize in diagnosing and treating gum disease. Periodontal disease is not the same for everyone, and many that have it are unaware because it is not painful. This is why we provide individualized assessment of patient oral health by taking gum measurements and using a phase microscope to perform plaque analysis before starting a thorough teeth cleaning program.
We believe that the primary key to health is, first and foremost, the person’s interest in becoming healthier. From there it is a matter of finding the correct information in which to act upon to achieve greater health. This is exactly what we offer at The Dental Wellness Center. Through our many affiliations with health organizations, along with being a Center for Dental Medicine, we keep involved and informed in the latest reliable health and dental information.
Most importantly though, is the passion and interest that each member of our Dental Wellness Center team can bring to you, our patient. Each team member brings unique talents to their positions and a commitment to being the very best in their fields. Realizing that there are no two patients alike, you can expect that you will be given quality time and an opportunity to express your own unique needs and desires about the future of your dental health. This sets the stage for a trusting, healthy relationship that will lead you towards achieving optimum health!