Tooth decay is something your dentist would much prefer to prevent than to treat!
When it comes to prevention, most dentists act in the same manner. Where the holistic dentist differs is how he or she treats tooth decay.
Conventional treatment for decay
The prevention of tooth decay includes recommended brushing and flossing, as often as after each meal. Dentists also advise their patients to replace sugary snacks and beverages with healthier food choices. Beyond these practices, conventional dentists treat patients with specialized treatment such as fluoride rinses and toothpaste and dental sealants. Sealing is done on molars, where food debris and bacteria may collect in the deep grooves and pits on chewing surfaces.
When decay is identified, damaged tooth material is removed and a filling is placed. Believing that plaque is the cause of cavities, conventional dentists will encourage patients to improve their oral hygiene practices to remove plaque in order to prevent further damage. Very few dentists will counsel their patients on the modifications they can make to diet for the prevention of tooth decay.
The holistic approach to tooth decay
The prevention of tooth decay does not differ much in the holistic dental practice except when it comes to fluoride. This substance is toxic to the body and is not used by the holistic practitioner. As an alternative, dentists like Michaela McKenzie encourage patients to use xylitol, a sweetener that seems to minimize the effects of oral bacteria on teeth. The pH of saliva may also be assessed in the holistic dental office. When the mouth is acidic, there is an increased risk for decay.
Holistic dentists also use the latest techniques for cavity detection. Using an instrument called DIAGNOdent laser cavity finder, Dr. McKenzie can find decay when only minimal damage has occurred to enamel. When cavities are detected very early, they may be efficiently treated with ozone, a powerful natural substance that safely destroys bacteria on contact. In many cases, this early treatment can eliminate the need for a filling.
An exciting development in the treatment of decay
Who doesn’t like the idea of handling tooth decay without drilling and without a filling? An exciting product, Icon, may be able to make this, and more, a reality. Icon is also being studied for its ability to eliminate discoloration without bonding or veneers by changing the consistency of tooth enamel and sealing healthy tooth structure.
Dr. McKenzie is on the cutting edge of holistic dentistry. Call (404) 900-5175 to schedule holistic dental care.