Category Archives: Holistic Dentist

Braces with metal allergies

I’m not sure what to do. We’ve seen an orthodontist for my son, who does need his teeth straightened, but he thinks we should do traditional braces. My son has metal allergies. I’ve explained this and asked about Invisalign. He said he doesn’t offer Invisalign because the orthodontist has less control. He thinks they are less useful. He’s insisting sometimes the “old standards” are best. Maybe they are, but what about for people in my son’s circumstances?


Dear Cynthia,

Patient putting in her Invisalign aligner

It is a shame your orthodontist is so closed minded. Truthfully, a small handful of orthodontists feel threatened by Invisalign because a general dentist can place them and feel it cuts into their business. However, most have embraced the newer technology and find it helps bring in patients which otherwise would never wear tradtional braces.

Long Term Solution: A Holistic Dentist

While you have orthodontists resisting Invisalign, you have many dentists who refuse to consider metal sensitivities as a thing to worry about in their field.

This is unfortunate for patients, because even those who don’t have allergies which show obvious symptoms, there are a large group of people which end up feeling much better overall when they use metal-free solutions in their dental care.

You may find some dentists resistant to factoring in his allergies with things such as dental crowns, fillings, and later in life even things such as dental implants. Though, hopefully, he’ll never need a tooth replacement.

Dentists who consider themselves Holistic Dentists will be a better option for your son’s dental care because they’ll be more likely to listen to the special considerations needed for his body.

Is Invisalign Effective?

It used to be that Invisalign could only handle the ideal cases. That’s no longer true. Except for the most challenging cases, they are now a good fit for most people.

The orthodontist you visited may not have kept up with the advancements in this procedure because he’d already written it off. i think your gut instinct for your son is spot on and Invisalign will work for him.

See another dentist to get a second opinion. It doesn’t have to be an orthodontist.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

I Swallowed Mercury From My Filling

I’m really worried. I had three silver fillings. I’d recently learned about the mercury content and tried not to freak out but couldn’t quite make it. I asked my dentist to remove them and switch them out for the white ones. He thought I was overreacting but agreed because they were old. I felt pieces of filling falling on my tongue. They’d get them, but I felt myself swallow one. I asked them to stop and explained what happened and they didn’t seem worried, but they weren’t worried about the filling anyway. Do I need to be concerned?


Dear Kelly,

amalgam and mercury-free fillings

It sounds like your dentist just removed the fillings without taking precautions. There is a specific procedure called a sanitary amalgam removal which allows patients to remove their silver fillings without the danger of swallowing or inhaling any mercury during the removal process.

Because your dentist doesn’t seem all that concerned about the mercury content in silver amalgam fillings as it is, he may not have even known about the proper procedure. If you have any of the fillings left to remove or find yourself in a similar position in the future, make sure you see a holistic dentist for your removal process.

How is a Holistic Dentist Different?

Holistic Dentists are general dentists who have a philosophy of considering the patient’s entire body in the course of treatment. For instance, they would only place mercury-free fillings in a patient’s mouth.

They’d also know the proper procedure to safely remove amalgam fillings as well as have the proper tools required to perform it.

There isn’t anything to counter swallowing mercury nor is there a cure for mercury poisoning. Your best bet is to avoid exposure in the future. The good news is you likely didn’t swallow enough to do any serious damage.

I’m sorry you’ve experienced this.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Is There a Dentist Who Cares About Thyroid Issues?

My dentist always seems to blow off any concerns I have about my health. First, he was frustrated that I didn’t want a silver filling because of the mercury content. Now he’s upset because I’m asking about lithium-free dental crowns, but I have thyroid problems and lithium has a negative impact on thyroid function. Eventually, he always gives in, but I feel like I have to fight for everything with this dentist. Is there a dentist who’ll care about my health, including my thyroid?

Laura G.

Dear Laura,

Boston Holistic Dentist

There are several different types of tooth-colored materials which dentists can choose from, only one of them contains any ingredients which are lithium disilicate-based. A dentist shouldn’t have any trouble steering away from one type. I don’t know if this will give you any peace of mind or not, but my understanding is this is a different type of lithium than what is used in the treatment for bipolar disorder, which has been shown to cause hypothyroidism.

Either way, you need a dentist who’s willing to listen to your concerns. In your place, I’d look for a holistic dentist. Some people call them natural dentists. Their philosophy is to treat your whole body and not just your teeth. They’ll be much more willing to take into consideration your concerns with mercury and your thyroid.

All of them are mercury-free dentists. Many are also BPA-free. They are also good at working to find materials that work for your body. For instance, some patients have metal sensitivities. That means they’d ask to use zirconia instead of titanium for their dental implants.

I’d do a simple internet search and see which holistic dentists are listed for your area. If you don’t have any, try instead for a list of mercury-free dentists. Explain your concerns. They should be understanding. If they’re not, just keep going down your list until you find one. I’m sure you will.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Multiple Dental Treatment Allergies

A series of issues have led to me needing some help. First, I have had a lot of health problems which couldn’t be explained. I finally had some allergy testing done which determined I had multiple metal allergies. Then, after a botched root canal treatment, which also ended with a broken file left in my tooth, I went to see a specialist who was able to retrieve the file but a few days later I developed an infection which landed me in the hospital. In addition to some serious antibiotics, they also recognized I had some chemical allergies. I have a list of eight things I’m allergic too, including titanium, which is supposedly quite rare. Are there dentists who can handle my list of allergies?


Dear Rebekah,

a patient giving a thumbs up from a dental chair
Holistic Dentists are More Willing to Work with Patient’s Needs

You’ve had it tough. It’s impressive that you’re still trying to persevere with your dental care despite the challenges. That says a lot. You won’t find a dentist who is allergy specific. What you need is a dentist who’s willing to work with you and the limitations you face, including your very rare allergies, like titanium. Fortunately, there are more and more metal-free alternatives in dental care these days.

For instance, with titanium, which is the most common type of dental implant, you can now get a metal-free implant. Zirconia implants are growing in popularity and use. Not only are they free of metal, but they’re equally strong. In fact, they’ve been nick-named ceramic steel.

Sadly, many dentists find these allergies controversial, especially the Clifford’s Test. I don’t know why. The human body is amazing and mysterious. I wouldn’t surprise me in the least if each person responded to things differently. It’s also supremely arrogant to assume me know everything we need to about physiology.

Your best bet is to find a holistic dentist.

What is a Holistic Dentist?

Holistic dentists, sometimes called natural or biological dentists, factor in the health of the whole body and not just the teeth. They’ll listen to what you’re saying and address your concerns. They’ll even go out of their way to find materials that are biocompatible with your body.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Do Lyme Patients Need a Holistic Dentist?

My husband was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. I remember reading way back somewhere that Yolanda Hadid (the Real Housewives gal) had to go to a holistic dentist in order to get better from her Lyme. Does my husband need to switch dentists?

Carol L.

Dear Carol,

Yolanda Hadid Foster

I remember the article you mentioned. Some of the information was accurate and some wasn’t. Her thinking was her amalgam fillings, which has a main ingredient of mercury, was preventing her immune system to work efficiently because it was so busy dealing with the effects of mercury poisoning. If she got rid of her amalgam fillings, she’d have a better shot at fighting her Lyme disease.

First, I have to say that the American Dental Association still considers amalgam fillings completely safe. Though, it’s understandable patients aren’t as confident about putting a known toxin, both medically and neurologically in their bodies. Because of that, more and more dentists are switching to white composite fillings.

Holistic Dentistry and Lyme Disease

The key to treating Lyme is to be as healthy as possible because unless caught immediately, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to treat. So, in addition to eating healthy and getting a reasonable amount of exercise, you’ll want to be certain your immune system isn’t forced to divide its energies.

One way to do that is to get rid of your amalgam fillings. The danger with that is the toxicity of mercury. Your dentist absolutely must do what is known as a sanitary amalgam removal. Without that procedure, you’re very likely to end up inhaling mercury.

Holistic dentists know how to perform sanitary amalgam removals. Their whole philosophy is about caring for the whole patient and not just their teeth. However, not every city has a holistic dentist. Depending on the size of the area where you and your husband live, you may not be able to locate one.

Your next option is to find a mercury-free dentist. Many of them also know how to safely remove your old silver fillings and replace them with the healthier composite counterparts. I’d recommend that before traveling a huge distance for a holistic dentist.

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

Holistic Dentist and Healing Cavities

I’ve read an article which said you can heal a cavity with nutrition. I must be doing something wrong. My cavity isn’t getting worse, but it’s not getting better either. Will a holistic dentist help me do it right? My regular dentist says I’m being foolish and wants to put one of those toxic fillings in it.


Dear Regina,

A woman lying down in a field of flowers

There hasn’t been any evidence from a reputable source that you can repair a cavity with nutrition. While good nutrition is certainly good for your teeth, I couldn’t in good conscience tell you it will heal a cavity.

Currently, there’s some very promising research in regrowing teeth, but that’s being done with stem cells. The data is still in the early stages. Be careful believing everything you read. It’s not just the internet where you have to use discernment anymore. News sources, print books, articles all are written by people with a bias and agenda. Even those who strive to remain neutral in their research and reporting, we’re human. We tend to get excited about data which backs up our hope or belief and ignore anything that doesn’t. These days, you have to do some research to make sure you’re getting the correct information.

A Holistic Dentist Can Help with Your Cavity

Even though a holistic dentist can’t heal your cavity with nutrition, they can help you. I know you were worried about having to put a toxic substance into your body with a filling. That’s one thing you will never have to worry about with a holistic dentist. They would never intentionally place any harmful substances into your body.

They are all mercury-free dentists. That means instead of amalgam fillings, which are loaded with mercury, they would provide you with white, composite fillings. These are mercury-free and actually help to strengthen the bond with your tooth, instead of weakening it the way their amalgam counterparts do.

Another benefit is they’re able to do a sanitary amalgam removal on any amalgam fillings you happen to have in your mouth. When amalgam fillings are removed, the patient is in danger of inhaling mercury vapors and swallowing bits of mercury. A sanitary amalgam removal uses special equipment to protect you from this, allowing you to exchange them for the safer composite fillings without any risk of ingestion.

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

Can’t Find a Holistic Dentist on My Dental Insurance

I’ve just discovered I’m pregnant. I’m thrilled, but do want to go to a holistic dentist during my pregnancy. I’ve been looking through all the specialists and can’t find a holistic dentist anywhere. Are they not covered?


Dear Serena,

pregnant woman at dentist
Do Pregnant Women Need a Holistic Dentist?

Congratulations! What an exciting time. I can totally understand why you’d want to seek treatment from a holistic dentist during this time of your life. They’re extra cautious when it comes to treatment, considering not just how it affects your body but your baby’s as well.

I think the problem you’re encountering is a misunderstanding of specialties. Your insurance will list things like General Dentists, Pediatric Dentists, etc. because they’re recognized specialties by the American Dental Association. But, things like Holistic Dentistry or Cosmetic Dentistry are not yet recognized as specialties.

What that means is the patient is left trying to determine which general dentists are actually skilled at cosmetic dental work and which just call themselves cosmetic dentists but actually aren’t that great at doing it beautifully.

Similarly, you’ll just have to check a dentist’s website to see if they have a holistic philosophy.

What If I Can’t Find a Holistic Dentist?

While the number of holistic dentists is growing, not every area has one. If you’re in that position, I would take two precautions when choosing who you’ll use for dental care during your pregnancy.

This is the minimum of precaution that should be taken with a pregnant woman. You don’t want a dentist who will introduce mercury into your body, especially when you’re expecting.

  • Always Consult Your Ob/Gyn

Most General dental procedures are safe and it’s actually even more important that you keep up with your oral health care during this time. Pregnancy can be rough on your teeth and a tooth infection is bad for you and your baby. That being said, every pregnancy is different and anything outside of routine care, it’s important you consult your OB to be certain it’s okay in your particular case.

You’ll find the second trimester is the most comfortable time, so try to schedule your appointment then if possible.

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

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.

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.