There is a lady relaxing in a luxurious recliner, listening to soothing music while breathing in the calming aroma of lavender. Where is she? I bet “her dentist’s office” wasn’t your first guess. That is exactly where she is!
More and more dental offices are offering spa services along with their standard dental ones. While this may seem a little far-fetched at first, traditional spas are designed to make you look and feel better. Sometimes teeth whitening is one of the items on the spa menu, so why not a dentist offering other services to make their patients look and feel better?
Dental anxiety is very common and for years dentists have been trying to come up with ways to put their patients at ease when during appointments. Dentists have opted for more neutral and calming decors in an attempt to ease patient dental anxiety. Now they’re stepping up their game.
Many offices now offer aromatherapy and calming, soothing music for their patients’ enjoyment. Wifi services or movies may also be available to help the patient more easily pass the time as they wait. Comfy blankets and pillows along with juice bars and cappuccinos could also be offered amenities. Others may provide reflexology or hand massages and paraffin waxes. How many services and what types of services are offered would be something that will depend on the individual dentist offices.
Holistic dentistry is a comprehensive approach to dental care and hygiene that include physical, physiological and spiritual aspects to ensure complete health
and well-being of the patient. Holistic dentistry is also known as biologic dentistry, biocompatible dentistry, and alternative or unconventional dentistry. The holistic dentists believe that a
surgical approach to gum disease may not be an ideal solution in every case; dental fillings with mercury as one of the basic ingredients of amalgam produce toxic effects and trapped bacteria in
root canal treatment can endanger the systemic health of the patient. Even though the doctors practicing holistic dentistry provide a very wide range of services, they face strong opposition from
the mainstream dental community. Generally, the dental doctors and surgeons always remain skeptical about the scientific reasoning behind the opinions and practices of alternative
According to the Holistic Dental Network, the dentist following a holistic approach do not provide an isolated treatment of the patient’s affected teeth, but consider the effects of any such treatment on the body, mind and spirits of the patient. Holistic dentistry creates a harmony between our traditional knowledge about natural healing and the analytical power of modern science and research. The entire focus is shifted from treatment of the disease to the health and well-being of the patient. Holistic dentistry is based on the following four basic principles:
The Holistic Dental Association highlights the events that led to the development of holistic dentistry. The association pointed out that some dedicated dentists in 1978 decided to extend the conventional dental treatment modalities with their own knowledge and experience. Some modalities refined the traditional knowledge while many of them were introduced for the first time. However, all of them provided new treatment options to the patients, which was not part of the curriculum in dental colleges. The dental doctors established Holistic Dental Association to promote and share dental therapies that focused on the health and well-being of the patients rather than modalities of a treatment. This is the reason why the modalities of treatment in holistic approach have also considerably changed since the association was formed, but the focus on sharing knowledge about bringing comprehensive changes in health and well-being remains intact.
The treatment modalities involving the use of mercury as one of the ingredients in the dental filling amalgam has probably raised the greatest controversy because of the mercury’s toxic effects. The scientists mostly agree that mercury is a toxic substance, and dental amalgams introduce mercury into the mouth, but they disagree on the toxic effects from a very small amount of mercury as various clinical trials have produced widely divergent results. Even though disputes run high, dental amalgams can result in mercury exposure from 1 -3 micrograms (µg) per day as per FDA guidelines. According to Patterson, mercury exposure can increase up to 27 µg per day. The environmental concerns caused a ban on the use of mercury based dental fillings in countries like Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but most of the countries approve the use of mercury based amalgams for dental fillings. There is very strict waste disposal protocol for residual mercury amalgams in most of the countries due to environmental regulations, but Sweden is the only country that has banned the use of mercury based filling materials because of the direct toxicity and exposure to mercury.