For many years, dentists were thought primarily as tooth doctors. Today, it is understood that oral health is intimately related to the rest of the body. Many even believe that oral diseases can be the cause of chronic systemic diseases. Although science is just beginning to understand the depth of the oral-systemic connection, no one has acknowledged it perhaps more completely than the biologic dentist. Accordingly, it should come as no surprise that biologic dentists incorporate this reality into every aspect of patient care.
But, what exactly is biologic dentistry? What are the goals of the biologic dentist? Many differences exist among individuals; however, the following points illustrate what a strict adherence to biologic dentistry might claim:
- All non-organic or non-biocompatible materials should be removed using maximum precautions.
- All dead organ parts and inflammation should be removed.
- All treatment should be done first by activating the immune system and without damaging it by the use of chemicals or drugs.
- The preservation and reconstruction of the masticatory system should be carried out using minimally invasive techniques and only with metal-free and/or biocompatible materials.
- Care must always be taken to maintain and restore the anatomy of teeth, bones and soft tissue to heal damage from oral disease and restore natural harmony and esthetics.
- Adherence to these principles is likely to result in a dramatic improvement in overall health.
At the Van Hala Dental Group, our primary focus is on health and wellness: the prevention of disease. This is essential because while we generally agree with the points above, we do not endorse them completely. What we do wholeheartedly embrace is the philosophy that the most natural, organic approach to care is ideal. This approach enables the body’s extraordinary ability to heal when injured or faced with infection. However, because dentistry often addresses non-ideal situations, it is sometimes advantageous to take a practical approach to care. At times, this may certainly deviate from the principles outlined above.
Today, there is an extraordinary amount of anxiety and confusion surrounding dental care, in particular, for people interested in a biologic approach. It is easy to become paralyzed in wanting to choose the healthiest option while faced with difficult realities. For example, if a person has multiple infected teeth, but does not want to consider root canal therapy, the only other alternative is extraction. Secondarily, what must be done to replace these teeth? An implant? A bridge? What happens if this person is not a candidate for these treatments; or, if financially, it is not possible? Sometimes, there simply is no perfect solution in the presence of disease. But, what if there are steps or modifications to conventional treatment which can be taken to make such a bad situation becomes better? If so, would it not be worth consideration?
We Want to Help You Find the Right Option
For patients who are strict adherents to the biologic approach, we respect this, and provide services that facilitate such a commitment. We encourage careful consideration of biologic dentistry, not as dogma, but as an idealistic, natural philosophy of care involving prevention, risk reduction and treatment that can bring about healthy changes and improved wellness. While some practitioners claim practicing biologic dentistry is likely to cure a wide range of medical conditions, we make no such claims!
As to the role of organizations such as the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association and the Ohio State Dental Board, their mission is to inform and protect the public. Many within the alternative medical community feel their efforts are hampered by these groups. However, we do not share the same presuppositions. In fact, we are strongly supportive of these needed organizations and view their existence as vital to well being of both the profession and more importantly, the general public. Balance of information, considering both perspectives, is our approach.