Tag Archives: Boston Holistic Dentist

Would a Holistic Dentist Remove My Metal Fillings?

I have several metal fillings which I recently learned contain mercury. I was astonished. I went to my dentist and asked him to remove them and put in the white fillings instead, which I’m told don’t have mercury. He said that wasn’t a good idea. While he can give me white fillings in the future, taking out the metal fillings would expose me to mercury vapors. Aren’t I exposed to that already? Would a holistic dentist help? I hear they don’t believe in metal fillings.

Charissa E.

Dear Charissa,

You aren’t the only patient who’s been surprised to learn what is in their old-fashioned, silver-colored fillings. They’re called amalgam fillings because they’re made up of various metals. But, the largest metal content is mercury.

While you are inhaling some mercury vapors from your filling, removing them releases substantially more. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them though. They can be replaced with white (composite) fillings, which as you’ve heard are mercury-free. You just have to go to the right dentist to do it.

Can Holistic Dentists Safely Remove Amalgam fillings?

There are two types of dentists who generally understand the importance of getting rid of amalgam fillings. The first is to go to a holistic dentist. They’ll know how to do what is called a sanitary amalgam removal. This protects you from both mercury vapors and from swallowing bits of filling that contain the mercury during the removal process. I recommend Holistic dentists first because they always take more precautions with what they introduce to your body, thinking more about your whole health instead of just your teeth.

However, some patients don’t live near a holistic dentist. In that case, I’d recommend a mercury-free dentist. Many of them also perform sanitary amalgam removals as well. Just be sure to ask that they know the procedure and practice it regularly first.

Once the white fillings are finished, their color can’t be changed. Your dentist will match them to the color of your teeth. If you’ve got very stained teeth, as many adults do, you might want to consider having teeth whitening done prior to having your fillings removed. This will give you a nice healthy white color to match your composite fillings to.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Is It True Holistic Dentists Don’t Believe in Root Canal Treatments?

I was considering going to a holistic dentist because I like the idea of considering the whole body in treatment and not having to worry about getting a filling loaded with mercury. But, my sister told me they don’t believe in root canal treatments. I’m worried they’ll just extract a problem tooth that could have been saved with a root canal treatment.

Marissa L.

Dear Marissa,

Boston Holistic Dentist

That’s a great question. You’re right to be wary of unnecessarily extracting a tooth, when it can be saved. There is a fringe group of holistic dentists who feel that doing a root canal treatment leaves some bacteria in your teeth, leaving you at risk.

But, if you look at it logically, we always have both good and bad bacteria in our teeth. In fact, that’s one of the ways we build up our immune system. If we never had any bacteria in our system, our bodies would not know how to fight anything and could become overwhelmed.

Most holistic dentists, however, realize this and will confidently give a patient a root canal treatment when needed.  I’d simply ask them up front what their policy is on root canals. If for some reason, you can’t find a holistic dentist in your area, you can still get treatment without having to worry about a mouth full of mercury.

There are mercury-free dentists who will only place the white, composite fillings which contain no toxic substances. In fact, Mercury-free dentists are becoming more and more common as composite fillings are becoming the standard treatment, rather than their amalgam cousins. While amalgam fillings were useful in their time, we’ve made many advancements which no longer makes them necessary.

I hope this brings you some peace of mind.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Why Are My Porcelain Veneers Staining?

I thought porcelain veneers were supposed to last for years. I’m really discouraged. I saved up for years to get them.  When they were first put on I felt like I could smile without embarrassment for the first time in years. But, they only lasted until my first dental cleaning (six months later).  Just a few weeks after that, they’ve started picking up stains– stains I can’t get off with brushing. What’s going on?

Elisabeth T.

Elisabeth,

Because they started picking up stains right after your first cleaning, I suspect you had a run in with a power cleaning tool at the dentist. Is it possible you had a hygienist who is new and inexperienced with cosmetic dentistry? If she used anything like a prophy jet, then the glaze has likely been removed from your porcelain veneers. That would definitely lead to them picking up stains.

If that’s the case, they should replace them. You’re right that porcelain veneers should last for years, especially if you’re taking care of them.

Be careful not to use anything like a whitening toothpaste on them. Those contain micro-abrasive materials which can scratch the surface of your veneers causing gunk to build up in the scratches.

There is a special toothpaste you can use that’s designed specifically for cosmetic work. Supersmile is one of the best.  However, that won’t help you until your glaze is restored. Very few dentists know the diamond polishing technique that can restore it. In all likelihood, your dentist will need to replace them. He’ll also need to educate his staff on how to handle porcelain veneers during cleaning visits. The same thing can happen to other dental work, such as porcelain crowns.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Help Me Understand Why the US is Ignoring the Mercury Treaty

I can’t figure out what’s going on. I’ve been trying to talk to dentists about the treaty that the U.S. signed agreeing to phase out mercury fillings. It seems we’re ignoring it and no one is paying attention. If they signed it does that mean they’ve finally admitted those fillings are dangerous? There aren’t holistic dentists in my area, so I’m trying to get the regular ones to understand my strong feelings about this. Why are we ignoring the treaty?

Monica L.

Dear Monica,

I believe you’re referring to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It wasn’t referring to mercury fillings, except in the case of how they’re disposed of. It focuses on mercury poisoning in the water, named in honor of the Japanese city which was devastated by mercury poisoning.

As  far as the FDA is concerned, mercury fillings are perfectly safe; though, understandably, many patients are uncomfortable packing their teeth with mercury. However, I don’t want you to feel trapped into getting amalgam fillings. They’re the ones which have the mercury content.

Even if you don’t have holistic dentists in your area, you can still get composite (white fillings). I’d call around and look for a mercury free dentist. They work exclusively with composite fillings.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Will Dental Insurance Allow Me to See a Holistic Dentist?

I want to see a holistic dentist. I’m having trouble finding that in my provider directory. I know that my medical insurance doesn’t let me see a “natural” doctor. Is dental insurance the same way?

Cynthia L. – Georgia

Cynthia,

Medical and Dental insurance both work similarly and differently. They both have provider directories. They both have codes for procedures that are covered. However, medical insurance has twenty-four specialties and dental insurance has nine.

One thing to bear in mind is that there is no recognized “Holistic Dentistry” specialty. You’ll go to a general dentist who holds a holistic treatment philosophy. It will be billed as a general dentist.

What you’ll come up against is that your dentist will be a mercury free dentist who gives you a white filling, but your insurance will only pay the cost of an amalgam filling. You’ll have to make up the difference.

However, that will happen whether you use a holistic dentist or not. The key is to find a dentist you love, who practices the type of dentistry you’re comfortable with. Then you and the dentist can work out ways to get the most out of your insurance.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

 

Do I Need to Go to Taiwan for a Holistic Dentist?

I have a toothache. I need to see a dentist. I talked to my aunt about it. She said any dentist in the states would give me a mercury filled filling. She wants me to wait until spring break and come see her in Taiwan. It hurts a lot so I was thinking if I could get a holistic dentist here I wouldn’t have to wait to go to Taiwan.

Wei L. – San Fransisco

Wei,

I wouldn’t wait for Taiwan, for three reasons.

  1. You are more likely for it to turn into an infection if you wait. That will not only mean a more extensive treatment, it could cost you the tooth.
  2. You’d have to fly to get to Taiwan. The air pressure will reek havoc on an already salty tooth. You’d spend the entire trip in absolute misery.
  3. All the risk and pain would be for nothing, because you can get a holistic dentist right here in the states.

Do an internet search for “holistic dentist” or “mercury free dentist“. Most dentists these days do composite fillings and will cater to patients who want to avoid mercury.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Are Holistic Dentists Actual Dentists?

There’s a business that moved into my area that advertises as a holistic dentist. Is that the same as a dentist that went to dental school or are they just one of these natural docs that consider themselves medical professionals but aren’t? It would be nice to have a dentist close, but I want to make sure he’s legit first.

Hannah L. – North Dakota

Hannah,

Only actual dentists, who’ve graduated from dental school, are allowed to call themselves dentists. As long as the dentist has a DMD or DDS on their diploma they’re a dentist.

The only difference between a holistic dentist and any other dentist is their philosophy of treatment. A holistic dentist considers the whole body, not just your mouth and teeth.

They’ll be much more aware of any substances that are used in your medical care. For instance, they wouldn’t give you an amalgam filling, because of the mercury content. They’ll give you a composite filling instead, because they’re mercury free.

So, go ahead and try out that new dentist. You might be thrilled.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Should I Switch to a Holistic Dentist While Pregnant?

I am pregnant. I’m thrilled and cannot wait until my little bundle arrives. In the meantime, I have to figure out what to do about my dentist. I have a cavity. I just don’t know what to do. My dentist is insisting I get an amalgam filling. I can’t believe he would want me to put mercury in my body while I’m pregnant. He’s insisting the other fillings aren’t as good. Should I switch to a holistic dentist?

Brenna H. – Philadelphia

Brenna,

Congratulations! How exciting that you’re going to have a new member in your family. I love that you’re already doing everything you can to protect your baby and his or her health.

I agree with you about the amalgam fillings. There’s no reason why you should get an amalgam filling whether or not you’re pregnant. My guess is the only reason he’s pressing the amalgam filling issue is because he is uneducated in the procedure for composite fillings.

In your case, I would look for a holistic dentist, or at least a mercury free dentist. They’ll be familiar with composite fillings as well as other ways of doing clean dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can a Dentist Help My Allergies and Pain

I’ve had undiagnosable medical issues for years, including serious joint pain and rashes. My doctors kept telling me it was in my head, but then I finally got a doctor to do a patch test on me.  It turns out I have some pretty bad allergies, including most metals. I’m wondering if a dentist can help me get rid of some of the metal I have in my mouth to see if I can  get some relief?

Mandy – Colorado

Mandy,

Hard to understand how a rash can be in your head. Sometimes it’s helpful to remember it’s called a medical “practice”. That means they still figuring things out, even if they’re too proud to say it.

The test you’re likely referring to is a Clifford’s Reactivity Test. It’s still considered controversial, so don’t be surprised if you run up against some opposition.

You’re more likely to get some assistance from a holistic dentist, They’re more open to treating the whole body.  It’s not a specialty, so it has more to do with the mindset of the dentist.

You’ll likely have to call around. Make sure whomever you can talk to is willing to do a sanitary amalgam removal.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

A Dentist Left a File in My Tooth

I went to a dentist who was doing a filling. Mid-appointment he decided it needed to change the filling to a crown, then decided it needed a root canal. During that procedure (or maybe the crown one, I don’t know) I heard him curse. He broke a file in my mouth.  He’s decided to leave it there. I’m really frustrated. I’ve heard holsitic dentists will handle things differently. A friend lives in your area and says you are one. How do I find one in my area?

Lupa N. – Delaware

Lupa,

You’ve had a very trying experience. Though I haven’t seen your case for myself, and cannot say for sure, I will say that sometimes decay can be worse than the dentist expected and a procedure has to be changed. And, though it isn’t normal, files do sometimes break.

You’re right that a holistic dentist will often care about the whole body function and not just the tooth. The easiest way to find on eis to do a direct search for a holistic dentist

They’ll work with you to get the file out, if that’s possible to do without causing more harm than good.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.