Integrative Dentistry, like Integrative Medicine, seeks to meld the best practices of traditional/allopathic knowledge and medicine with the more recently recognized alternative practices to traditional care. The results of integrative/holistic care is desired to be less invasive, less reliant on pharmaceutical therapy, involves less radiation and seeks to identify root causes of disease rather than to mask or only treat the symptoms. Integrative Dentistry considers the material that is used to restore teeth and mouths, the occlusion involved in such restorations and how it affects the TM joints, and musculature of the face and head. We not only want to identify ‘toxic’ materials and avoid or minimize exposure, but also identify materials that may be poorly tolerated by certain individuals who are immunocompromised or ‘high reactors’ to material that may not bother another.
A truly integrative dental experience assesses not only the health of teeth and gums, and what lies within the mouth but considers the overall health of the individual and how it can be affected by conditions of health or the lack of health as it may exist in the mouth. This means that the function of the TMJ’s (temporomandibular joint) are considered, the ability to adequately chew an appropriate diet with the existing teeth and/or dentures, assessment of how a malocclusion (poor bite and jaw position) could affect breathing, neck posture, sleep patterns (apnea) in an adult, and poor oxygenation in children that affects growth, metabolism, and cognition. Head, neck, and TMJ pain are also important considerations and a common occurrence in patients suffering from poor health that is often easily remedied and addressed by an experienced holistic practitioner.
As a certified NMD, naturopathic medical doctor, Dr. Reese also relies heavily on nutraceuticals, homeopathics, and nontraditional therapies such as ozone applications for tooth, gum, and bone infections. Other nontraditional therapies include laser therapy for cavity removal, disinfection of cavities and root canals, and muscle and joint pain relief.
Many people are confused about the buzz words of mercury safe, and mercury free dental care. We are a ‘mercury safe’ practice that uses a specific protocol to protect yourself (and ourselves) from the mercury vapors created when removing old mercury fillings. A mercury free environment would only exist if we didn’t allow anyone with an existing amalgam filling to enter our practice which we obviously don’t want to exclude!