Biologic dentistry emphasizes approaches to dental care which consider the patient’s dental health in the context of their entire physical as well as emotional or spiritual health. It is part of the alternative health movement. Although the holistic dental community is diverse in its practices and approaches, common threads include strong opposition to the use of amalgam which contain mercury and other potentially toxic materials in dental fillings, nonsurgical approaches to gum disease, and the belief that root canals may endanger systemic health of the patient through the spread of trapped dental bacteria to the body. Many practices and opinions among alternative dentists are criticized by the mainstream dental community and skeptics of alternative medicine in general.
The Holistic Dental Network defines the 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 worlds 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,” and lays out the following basic principles:
- Proper nutrition for the prevention and reversal of degenerative dental disease
- Avoidance and elimination of toxins from dental materials
- Prevention and treatment of dental malocclusion (bite problems=physical imbalance)
- Prevention and treatment of gum disease at its biological basis