Close-up of dental mirror inside patient's mouth

Holistic Dentistry And Medicine

History of Holistic Medicine:

Holistic medicine is a mixture of mainstream medicine and alternative medicine. This term is suggested by Percival in his book,  published in 1803. The history of Holistic medicine goes back to ancient times, when there were few effective treatments available and people mostly relied on “natural healing”

John Macleod also talked about holistic medicine in his “clinical examination” book can only be seen to be holistic in nature.

What Is Holistic Dentistry

Holistic dentistry, also known as alternative dentistry is similar in nature to the more general category of holistic medicine, but emphasizes more dental related issues. Holistic dental networks defined this field as “an approach to Dentistry that promotes health and wellness instead of the treatment of disease. This approach to Dentistry encompasses both modern science and knowledge drawn from the world’s great traditions on natural healing…Holistic Dentistry acknowledges and deals with the mind, body, and spirit of the patient, not just his or her ‘Teeth'”

Basic Principles of Holistic Dentistry:

  • Prevention of dental diseases by proper nutritional support.
  • Elimination of toxins which are harmful for teeth.
  • Prevention and treatment of dental misalignment and gum diseases at its biological basis.

Aspects of Holistic Dentistry:

It consists of a set of treatments which consider the psychological, physiological as well as social aspects of the person, along with their dental issues. This term is often used by the public, as well as a broad spectrum of healthcare professionals. It means that the target of holistic dentistry is not only to treat the symptoms of dental issues, but also to take into consideration the mind, spirit and emotions for the overall wellness of the patient. It usually supports the belief that unconditional love and support are also necessary for the wellbeing of the human body. A spiritual element should also be considered when assessing a patient (as stated by the American Holistic Medical Association). It doesn’t mean that one should completely rely on holistic medicine and dentistry as a replacement to conventional treatment, but for the maximum effectiveness, both treatment options should be considered.

How Holistic Approach Supports the Concept of Natural Healing:

Holistic medicine and dentistry supports the concept of “natural healing” which refers to the non-invasive, non-pharmacological techniques and powerful innate healing abilities of the body. The other principal of holistic dentistry is to treat the underlying cause of the disease and not just alleviating the symptoms. There is a link between the disease and the general wellbeing and it drives the concept of holistic medicine. According to the holistic approach, the overall health not only depends upon how your body is functioning, but many other factors such as emotional, psychological, spiritual, environmental and social factors.. which also play an important role. The statement “In holistic dentistry, a person is treated as a whole” means that the management of all these factors are equally important and should be managed together. Holistic dental practitioners recommend treatments and techniques to the patient to effectively overcome the cause of the disease without sacrificing other aspects of their health. These techniques may include healthy lifestyle changes, regular exercise, psychotherapy, counselling and patient education (in addition to western medications). Alternative medical options such as acupuncture, massage, naturopathy, chiropractic care, Reiki and homeopathy are also considered options to support holistic medical treatment. Many alternative medical and dental practitioners use holistic approach as a basis for treatment.

A Common Misconception about Holistic Dentistry:

A common misconception about holistic dentistry is that it is used as an alternative to conventional treatment, but the reality is that it simply provides broader treatment options with a mixture of conventional treatment and alternative medicine.

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