Biocompatible dentists are often asked how patients can learn more about their dental health – and what issues people need to be considering as they think about the intersection between their oral health and their overall health. As biological dentist Dr. Paige Woods pointed out in a recent UCSD lecture, there’s actually quite a lot to consider.
First, there’s the matter of dental amalgam. It’s made from 50 percent mercury, a substance proven harmful to human health. Yet some dentists are still using this filling material – and don’t necessarily recommend having it removed. But today’s strong composite material is a better substitute, although it isn’t perfect.
Second, there are root canals to think about. While most dentists still routinely use root canal therapy to save badly damaged teeth, there are toxic substances involved that biocompatible dentists rightly question, Dr. Woods said in her lecture. Plus, traditional root canals can fail because of problems in how they’re done. In many cases, removing the tooth and replacing it with an implant or bridge is a smarter choice – although a bridge can unnecessarily damage nearby teeth.
Plus, there’s the matter of how to treat gum disease with limited use of antibiotics and other powerful drugs.
Patients who choose biocompatible dentistry are those comfortable with stepping away from the way many in society do things and toward a smarter, better and safer way of treating their teeth. This often means treating the mouth holistically – that is, as part of the body and not separate from it.
Perhaps the best thing anyone can do regarding their dental or overall healthcare treatments is to step back for a moment, Dr. Woods said, and ask “Say what?” when a medical or dental professional recommends a treatment – rather than blindly accepting what he or she says.
Often, there’s a more biologically compatible choice that will work just as well or better.
More about Dr. Woods and her San Diego Dental Services at http://sandiegodentist.org
Dr. Woods on Amalgam Filling Replacement