Biological Dentistry in Edmonton
Your dentist is considered your primary care provider for your healthiest smile. General dentistry is focused on the prevention and treatment of a variety of dental problems, including cavities and gum disease. Holistic dentistry understands that dental care affects the health of the entire body. We are proud to offer Edmonton patients excellent dental care that seeks to promote whole-body health.
More and more, people are seeking to learn more about integrative medical and dental treatments as a way to gain control over their health. We are proud to offer the knowledge and services that will help patients reach their health and smile goals. It is our practice to empower our patients with information and bio compatible care. We do not harm their health by “restoring” teeth with harmful substances such as dental amalgam. In our holistic approach, we look for the cause of dental problems so that their effect is stopped quickly, while general health is guarded.
Recognizing the direct connection between the mouth and the body, our team performs our various dental services with great attention to detail. Our office is equipped with specialized equipment designed with the well-being of the dental patient in mind. We have traded conventional x-rays in favour of digital imaging that reduces radiation exposure by more than 90 percent. We avoid the use of mercury but also avoids fluoride and other toxic substances regularly used in conventional dentistry.
What is Biological Dentistry?
Biological dentistry is one area of focus that sets itself apart from general dentistry. Not only does biological dentistry use a variety of different approaches to keep your teeth in excellent health, but the philosophy behind biological dentistry differs from standard dental practices.
Biological focused dentists understand the importance of oral health from a systemic perspective. That means that any work performed on the teeth is done with a mind for the impact it will have on the whole-body system. Biological dentistry differs in their practices, too, by stepping away from services such as fluoride and amalgam fillings that can be harmful to your health.
Services that are used to compliment biological dentistry include electronic pulp testing and ozone treatment. Electronic pulp testing uses a mild electrical current to check the health and viability of the pulp within the tooth. Using an electrical probe to test a dry tooth with a conductive product (such as gel or toothpaste), the patient retains one end of the probe and indicates when they feel a sensation within the tooth.
Ozone treatment has gained notoriety in the dental field recently, as bacteria and other micro organisms have become increasingly resistant to chemical disinfection. Ozone uses its inherent properties to effectively kill the bacteria that has invaded the oral tissues of concern.
Biological Dentistry & Root Canals
One of the primary differences between a biological dentist and a traditional general dentist is their treatment philosophy where root canals are concerned.
Root canals are the typical treatment of choice when the pulp of the tooth has become infected. Once the pulp of the tooth is too infected to remain viable, the dentist will drill an opening in the tooth, remove the nerve and other tissue from inside the tooth and disinfect it before sealing it with gutta percha. And while this treatment allows the tooth to remain in the mouth, it has ultimately been rendered dead (non-viable). Your biological dentist doesn’t perform root canals, however, and we’ve got good reason for that.
Studies of root canals have shown that in all cases, there are pathogens remaining in the tooth once it has been resealed. Since the tooth no longer contains a nerve that could indicate a proliferation of these pathogens, bacteria can continue to grow without the patient’s awareness. This may be linked to a number of concerns including leaky gut and autoimmune disorders.
Science has long regarded mercury as a toxic substance. In fact, while mercury was previously used routinely in many of the items we used every day, such as in medical thermometers, modern understanding has put a stop to this. What we once considered innocuous and interesting is now understood to be dangerous. Those who grew up in Alberta in the 1950s and 60s may even recall being handed a ball of mercury to play with in science class – without any protective measures like gloves and ventilation! These days, we understand that mercury does not have a place in modern dentistry. Still, amalgam fillings (silver fillings) currently contain approximately 50% mercury. This is of concern to many of our informed patients, and many seek mercury removal and filling replacement as a result. Since mercury’s toxicity comes in the form of vapour as well as from contact, steps are required to ensure that it is not handled and that its vapours are not inhaled.
Since mercury containing fillings emit a toxic vapour when they are installed in the mouth it’s understandable that drilling and removing the mercury will disturb it and result in increased toxic vapour release. For this reason, we take mercury removal seriously and take all steps to ensure as little exposure to this harmful neurotoxin as possible, for the benefit of patients and practitioners alike.
Our approach to mercury fillings ensures that dental dams and ventilation is utilized, and our practitioners have a number of complimentary suggestions including vitamin C and naturopathic care to detoxify the body once the amalgam filling has been removed and replaced with a non-mercury emitting substance. If you are concerned about your health with amalgam fillings, you may benefit from having the amalgam removed and replaced with a reliable and non-toxic alternative.