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Dentistry has been a profession in the United States since 1828 when the world’s first dental school was founded. The term holistic dentistry was founded in 1978 as a way to define dentistry that focuses on the whole health of the patient. Also known as biological or biocompatible dentistry, holistic dentistry treats oral health by combining information from modern science and knowledge from traditional thoughts on natural healing. Health and wellness, rather than disease treatment, is the focus. Holistic dentists look at the health of the entire body in relationship with their oral health. They believe that proper nutrition can prevent or reverse degenerative dental disease. Additionally, many will avoid or eliminate toxins from the materials they use to treat their patients. Gum disease and dental malocclusion (bit problems) are also a focus on holistic dentists.
Treatment by a holistic dentist will involve similar treatments to your regular dentists, like cleanings, fillings and root canals. However, holistic dentists use different techniques, materials, methods and processes that have less toxins and are biocompatible with the patient. Patients may find that holistic dentists and their teams will spend time to educate their patients on proper dental care, nutrition, and other lifestyle changes so that they can go home and make better decisions towards their oral health.
Dentists in every state must undergo the licensure process at least once in their careers. Licensure requirements vary by state but all require education at a university-based dental education program accredit by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA CODA), passing of the National Board Dental Examinations, and clinical examinations. Currently, there is no certification for holistic dentistry. Dentists who are interested in holistic dentistry will spend time to educate themselves on the techniques and knowledge that approach dentistry holistically. Patients should inquire with their practitioner to learn if they have additional education in holistic dentistry, general philosophy for dental health, and the types of materials they use to treat patients.
Credentials and Regulation Bodies
Currently, dentists are licensed in every state. Holistic dentists may voluntarily market themselves as such and display additionally credentials, however, there is no regulation in who can call themselves a holistic dentist.
Founded in 1978, the Holistic Dental Association offers a membership to licensed dentists who want to learn and share health promoting therapies. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOM) is a member and accreditation group for dentists who follow a biocompatible approach to dentistry.Pricing
Many treatments and procedures by a holistic dentist will be covered by dental insurance provided your dentist accepts insurance. However, some materials and procedures may not be covered by your insurance and will have to be paid out of pocket. Inquire with your insurance company and dentist to understand your full coverage.