Holistic dentistry encompasses natural, gentler approaches to treatment, such as homeopathy, trigger point therapy, and naturopathic remedies. These approaches provide an excellent first line of defense against disease, when appropriate. Recent scientific research has backed up some of these age-old therapies, as well as previously labeled “holistic” or “biological.” It's exciting to see how these are now the “latest” research.
Homeopathy is helpful at ameliorating pain, improving healing, and decreasing bacterial loads. It is widely available and fairly inexpensive. We all have family “recipes” that in a pinch can gently soothe and heal. With drug resistance on the rise, increased health care costs, and significant and even risky drug side effects, homeopathy is the natural choice to treating various ailments.
Muscle testing is an intuitive way of checking for material compatibility.
The works of Janet Travel and David and Lois Simons in myofascial pain and dysfunction are hot topics in TMJ dysfunction and oral-facial pain. Little has been incorporated of the Egoscue Method for posture as related to treatment of the TMJs, but that may become hot research in the coming years.
The cold laser was little known 15 years ago. Yet it is becoming an excellent adjunctive treatment for pain with FDA approval.
Some white composite fillings, dental sealants, and night guards are BPA free, thanks to concerned consumers. And the market is embracing fluoride free, additive free dental products. For example, MI paste is a calcium-based remineralizing product that has proven very helpful at preventing or arresting cavities and decreasing tooth sensitivity while being safe to ingest even in babies. Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar, has been researched quite well and proven to be effective against tooth decay and dry mouth.
There is lots of exciting new research that backs many “holistic” approaches. And it is my hope that these allopathic approaches will find a strong foothold in traditional medicine in the coming years.