Integrative dentistry

Integrative dentistry is about so much more than teeth

A dentist is a type of doctor who specializes in oral health, which extends to much more than just teeth and gums. The American Dental Association notes dentists also look after things like the muscles of the head and neck, the jaw, the tongue, salivary glands, and the nervous system. Their role includes diagnosing oral disease, administering anesthetics, performing surgical procedures, screening for oral cancers, and much more. It’s all designed to promote good oral health and long-term wellbeing.

Integrative dentists take it a step further, and considers the way oral health impacts the health of the whole body. This practice has a lot of different names: integrative dentistry, holistic dentistry, and biological dentistry are just a few. It’s based on the idea that the health of the mouth and the health of the body are intrinsically linked – for example, oral health has a significant impact on functions eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. Oral health can also affect things like movement and mental health.

Want to learn more? Contact us today.

Two ways integrative dentistry is practiced

Integrative dentists have all the same qualifications and training as regular dentists. In fact, most integrative dentists started as regular dentists and moved into a new direction when they started looking for better ways to practice dentistry, and become safer and more effective providers.

There are two main ways integrative dentistry is practiced.

The first is through the idea of the “mouth-body connection,” which is the understanding that the mouth and the body do not operate independently of each other. This means that rather than simply diving in and treating dental conditions, integrative dentists will ask their patients about other factors that may impact their health. This could include sleep, diet, exercise, and stress, for example. This helps the integrative dentists get a better picture of what’s going on in a person’s life to help create an individualized plan that will optimize their overall health and wellbeing.

The second way integrative dentistry is practiced is through the use of integrative methods. This takes all the great parts of conventional dentistry and blends them with alternative methods that are designed to deliver the best results possible. This will vary from dentist to dentist, depending on their own personal research and experience, as well as their interests. This could include things like low-dose x-rays and mercury-free fillings. The idea is to use safer, more natural materials, as much as possible.

Learn more about minimally-invasive options.

Conditions integrative dentistry can treat

Integrative dentists treat all the same things as regular dentists. This includes regular dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dentures, dental implants, orthodontics, and all the normal things you’d expect. They can conduct clinical and radiographic examinations for hidden dental problems, inspect the mouth for cavities and any wear and tear, treat gingivitis and periodontal diseases, provide professional teeth cleaning, and treat dental emergencies such as broken teeth and severe toothaches.

However, they can do much more. Here at Mandanas Dental, for example, Dr. Mandanas has a special interest in sleep breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, which stems from her research into craniofacial anatomy and development. This means she can help if you’re snoring excessively at night, sleeping restlessly, or waking up tired.

Sleep apnea can cause a range of serious health issues, from chronic exhaustion to heart strain, diabetes, metabolic issues, liver problems, and even death. It’s commonly treated with CPAP machines, but it doesn’t have to be. As an integrative dentist, Dr. Mandanas uses non-invasive treatments that consider all the relevant health factors at play to work naturally with the body to find a solution rather than working against it. For example, she can help patients with things like alignment of the jaw, tongue positioning, mouth breathing, which can all affect sleep quality.

Read more about integrative sleep apnea treatments.

Integrative dentistry is a step toward whole-body health

Integrative dentistry is a great option for people who want to optimize their wellbeing. The goal is to help each patient live their healthiest, fullest life. Integrative dentists offer inviting, patient-focused environments, and deliver personalized dental care tailored to your health goals.

Ready to get started? Schedule an appointment today.

Holistic Dentistry

What is Holistic Dentistry? We Answer Your FAQs

If you’re curious about holistic dentistry, you’re in the right place. Maybe you’ve come across the concept while researching local dentists on the internet; perhaps a friend or family member has recommended holistic dentistry. Either way, you’re looking to try something different.

Holistic dentists have the same credentials as regular dentists. In my case, I have a DDS, and I’ve been a general dentist for 17 years. Over time, I developed an interest in sleep breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. I’m passionate about craniofacial anatomy and development, which can be the source of many sleep issues in children and adults. The past few years have taken me professionally into a new direction of integrative dentistry. It is exciting and fun for me as I continue to grow and learn how to be a safer and more effective provider. Basically, I’m committed to having an open mind about natural approaches to oral health.

This is pretty common for holistic practitioners. Most of us practiced traditional dentistry for years before making the switch to our current models of practice. It’s really simple – the word “holistic” simply means “whole.” We look at the role dentistry plays in optimizing your overall health and wellbeing. That’s why we prioritize natural remedies and avoid harmful materials wherever possible. We will also typically ask more questions about other aspects of your health – for example, diet, sleep, mental health – than regular dentists.

However, we still do the things you’d expect in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, dentures, implants, and more. This includes checking for things like cavities and gum disease, performing clinical and radiographic examinations, conducting preventative care for things like custom mouth guards, and taking care of all your needs for things like fillings and crowns. Remember, we’re fully-qualified dentists, so we’ll take care of your needs.

Keep reading, because we’ll answer a few more FAQs below.

Ready to get started? Schedule an appointment today.

What does a holistic dentist do?

Holistic dentists do all the same things as regular dentists, but as we said before, we focus on whole-body health. Because of that, our scope of work is slightly wider than regular dentists.

For example, we can help treat things like sleep apnea. We can provide non-invasive treatments that consider all the factors at play and work naturally with the body to find a solution. A major cause is poor alignment of the jaw and tongue, which can be corrected. Mouth breathing is another, which can be treated through referral to a physical or speech therapist. Tongue positioning is another frequent factor, which can also be improved. Talk to us about alternatives to CPAP machines.

The concept of mouth-body connection is also very important. We know the mouth doesn’t function in isolation from the rest of the body, so we ensure the connection between the mouth and the body is optimized. That’s why your holistic dentist may ask you about things like diet, lifestyle, and mental health, before recommending a treatment. We want to ensure it works for you.

How do holistic dentists treat root canals?

Root canals are one area where you’ll notice a significant difference. Holistic dentists address root canals with extreme caution and attention to detail, because we understand that 100% sterilization of the root canal is difficult to achieve. We also know that some sterilization chemicals are toxic, such as formaldehyde, which can be harmful. On top of that, we know that bacteria left in the canal can lead to diseases like breast cancer and heart disease. It’s a big decision to make.

Obviously, prevention is always better than a cure in cases like this. However, if the problem becomes serious enough to prompt a discussion about root canals, you might find your holistic dentists recommends something like total extraction of the tooth instead. The treatment will vary on a case-by-case basis, so if you have concerns around this, talk it through with your dentist.

What do holistic dentists use for fillings?

Holistic dentists avoid harmful materials, which means we favor alternatives to things like mercury amalgam silver fillings. Studies have shown that these fillings can have adverse effects on patient health, such as accumulation of bacteria around decaying fillings, sensitivity, weakening of the teeth, and more. We recommend replacing them with modern composite fillings.

If your amalgam fillings show signs of wear or decay, you’ve had issues with them in the past, you’re concerned about the level of mercury in your mouth, and you’re concerned about the aesthetics of silver fillings, please talk to us about modern alternatives. They’re a great alternative for small to medium restorations and may be the right option for you. Ask your dentist!

Concerned about mercury filling removal? Read more about this procedure.

Do holistic dentists take insurance?

Yes, holistic dentists take insurance. Remember, we’re fully-qualified dentists! However, some treatments we recommend may not be covered by insurance – it can vary from company to company. If you have any concerns, please discuss it with your insurance provider.

If you have no insurance, you may wish to consider joining our membership club. We take care of the preventative dental care of all our members with a monthly subscription, saving you money. Our adult membership is just $38/month (with a $50 lifetime activation fee), and it includes two professional dental cleanings per year, 1-2 doctor exams per year, necessary x-rays, one emergency exam per year, and $15% off all other treatments (although some exclusions may apply).

We value loyalty and we launched this program to simplify payments for preventative care. If you’d like to learn more about our membership club, please click here.

Best holistic dentist in Anchorage, Alaska

Here at Mandanas Dental, we understand that properly addressing the needs of our patients allows them to live healthier, fuller lives. Think about it: food is our fuel, and it enters our bodies through our mouths. We ensure your mouth is healthy so your body can function as it should.

We don’t overbook. Instead, we reserve your time exclusively, without interruptions. This means you get to spend the time you need with Dr. Mandanas. She will talk to you about your health goals before even taking an x-ray, and after completing a thorough examination, she’ll review her findings with you and develop a personalized plan to achieve the best results possible.

We’re committed to making your dental treatment comfortable, convenient and rewarding. That’s why Mandanas Dental is the best holistic dentist in Anchorage, Alaska.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!

Why Do I Need to See an Integrative Dentist

Why Should I See an Integrative Dentist?

Integrative dentistry is an exciting new perspective for your regular dental check-ups. Rather than just looking at your mouth and trying to keep it healthy in isolation, an integrative dentist (also known as a holistic dentist or biological dentist) looks at the way your mouth impacts your overall health. Integrative dentists recognize that good oral health is only a single element of what’s needed to optimize your wellbeing.

When we discuss the best treatment for your dental issues, we’ll also take factors like mental health, sleep disorders, behavioral disorders, lifestyle, diet and more into consideration. We also actively look for natural alternatives to traditional treatment methodologies when they are proven to be effective. We always prefer to use the least invasive techniques possible to reduce damage and protect you from chemical exposure.

Of course, integrative dentists do all the things you expect from a normal dentist. They can take care of all your dental issues, including:

  • Clinical and radiographic examination for hidden dental problems
  • Inspecting the teeth for cavities and any signs of wear and tear
  • Inspect the gums for signs of gingivitis or gum disease
  • Professional teeth cleaning
  • Emergency dentistry
  • And much more.

We simply recognize that the mouth is the gateway to the body, and that by taking care of the mouth, we can help optimize whole-body health.

How Dr. Mandanas became an integrative dentist

Dr. Owen Mandanas worked as a general dentist for 17 years. Eight years ago, however, she began helping people with sleep disorders, through the use of dental appliances. We’ve discussed the treatment of disorders like sleep apnea in our blog before – you can read more about it here. Dr. Mandanas particularly likes the use of alternatives to CPAP machines, such as mandibular advancement devices. These devices push the jaw forward while you sleep, which helps to keep your airway open.

This experience led her to look into other ways she as a dentist could help patients in other ways. Her view of the role dentistry plays in healthcare more widely began to change as she began studying new techniques and working with other holistic practitioners, including medical doctors, nurse practitioners, naturopaths, and chiropractors.

Today, Dr. Mandanas is affiliated with multiple professional organizations, in both traditional dentistry and integrative dentistry. These include the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines, and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, which awards the SMART certification for mercury amalgam filling removal (click here to read more).

Why not just see a normal dentist and a doctor?

There are lots of advantages to seeing an integrative dentist, but the most important reason to choose this option is because they are more aware of the impact dental issues have on the rest of the body than a traditional dentist. Often, they may identify potential issues that you can then raise with your doctor. It doesn’t matter what the issue is; early detection and prevention is always the best way to optimize and protect your health.

What types of issues can integrative dentists address?

Sleep apnea is just one example of this, because Dr. Mandanas can suggest different treatment options you can talk through with your physician. This is a large part of her practice, and she’s passionate about studying craniofacial anatomy and development. She approaches every new patient with an open mind and is committed to finding the right solution for you.

Oral microbiome is another. Your mouth is home to the second most diverse community of micro-organisms in your body, after your gut. In fact, more than 700 species of bacteria live on the hard and soft surfaces of your teeth. The balance can be disturbed by external factors, such as your diet, which can cause problems like gum disease. This is something we can talk about during a routine appointment. Read more about it here.

Oral health also has an impact on serious diseases like diabetes, which comes with risks of periodontal disease. This is the name of a common infection of the gums that can lead to bone loss in the jaw and teeth. It starts as plaque and causes inflammation of the gums as it progresses. Diabetics with severe periodontal disease have an increased risk of things like kidney disease, heart attack, stroke and eye issues. Click here to read more.

These are just a few examples, but hopefully they help explain the “big picture” of dentistry. It’s not enough just to look after your oral health, you need to view your mouth as the gateway to whole-body health.

Want to learn more about integrative dentistry? Get in touch today!

Mercury Filling Removal and the Importance of SMART Certification

Removal of mercury amalgam fillings is a concern that more people are sharing.

We’ve previously written about reasons why people may choose to have their mercury amalgam fillings removed, here. Among these reasons are concerns about aesthetics, wear or damage, or mercury content.

Whatever your reason for wanting a change, you should make sure that the dentist you choose to remove your old mercury fillings is SMART certified. We’ll go into detail about what exactly SMART is in the next section, but first, we’ll explain why it’s so important to have your fillings removed by a specially trained dentist.

The FDA says that mercury amalgam fillings are safe as long as they aren’t damaged. However, the risk of mercury vapor being emitted is greater during the removal process.

This is why it is important to have a SMART certified dentist remove your mercury amalgam fillings.

What is SMART?

SMART stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.

It was created by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. You can read more about the IAOMT and the SMART protocol in more detail, here.

The SMART protocol is a multi-step process that ensures that no mercury is inhaled by either dental personnel or the patient. It requires the dentist to put in place many precautions so that the patient is completely safe.

These precautions include:

  • Installation of an amalgam separator to remove amalgam waste from general effluent.
  • Filtration and airflow in the room where removal takes place, to ensure the removal of mercury fumes.
  • The patient is given a slurry made of charcoal or a similar substance which will fix the mercury so that it is safely removed from the body, should any be swallowed.
  • Protective gowns for all people in the room to ensure mercury does not adhere to clothes or the body.
  • Appropriate gloves, face shields, and hairnets should be worn by both the patient and dental personnel.
  • The dental personnel should wear a face mask capable of filtering mercury particles.
  • The patient should be given an oxygen mask that covers the nose so that they don’t breathe in mercury vapors.
  • The dentist should use a dental dam and a suction device to ensure mercury vapors and particles are collected and not ingested or inhaled.
  • A drill is used to remove the amalgam in as large chunks as possible.
  • After removal, the patient’s mouth is rinsed with water and a charcoal slurry again

Important safety steps

This breakdown of the process may make it sound as though mercury amalgam fillings are highly dangerous and may make you ask why they are allowed to be used in the first place. It is important to remember that when mercury is mixed into the amalgam that is put into your mouth, it is deemed safe. However, the process of removal causes some of that mercury to be released, which can then cause health issues.

It is also important to remember that the biggest health risk is to the dentist, as they are exposed many times over. Consider the way your dentist behaves when taking x-rays of your teeth. You may wonder why they leave the room, while you are given no protection. This is because a single dose is not harmful, but the dentist is exposed many times over their career. A good dentist will make sure they have all the proper safety procedures in place.

If you want to have your mercury amalgam fillings removed, and you want to ensure that they are removed according to the SMART protocol, contact Dr. Mandanas today.

Sedation Dentistry, Is It Really Safe?

Were you that kid who had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the dentist’s office? Are you still nervous about seeing your dentist? Are you concerned that your dental health may be affected because you’re not having your teeth checked as regularly as you should?

You may have heard of sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is becoming increasingly popular, and many dental practices now offer it for nervous patients.

In this blog, we’ll explain what sedation dentistry is and look at the safety considerations.

What is sedation dentistry?

It has long been standard practice to offer certain types of sedation for a range of dental procedures.

Most significant dental surgeries are performed under sedation, but the procedure is now becoming more common for routine treatment, and even just for an examination.

Sedation can be administered in a variety of ways. This can be oral (by taking a pill), by inhaling nitrous oxide, or intravenous (a needle directly into your bloodstream).

As well as a range of delivery options, sedation can come in multiple levels. It may be that you receive some local numbing, or you may be given medication to calm you while allowing you to remain conscious. In some cases, you can be given a general anesthetic so that you are unconscious for the entire procedure and won’t remember anything.

So, is sedation dentistry safe?

The American Dental Association publishes guidelines for dentists who wish to undertake all levels of sedation, to ensure that it is practiced safely.

These guidelines apply to the level of sedation, as well as the method of sedation. However, the main takeaway from the guidelines is that sedation dentistry is safe as long as it is performed by a properly trained professional, so you should take care to ensure that you trust your dentist, or any other providers they work with.

In 2015 the Journal of the American Dental Association published a paper entitled How safe is deep sedation or general anesthesia while providing dental care? The authors found that general anesthetic and deep sedation are safe for dental procedures. Again they emphasized that proper training is paramount for anyone administering anesthetic.

Where can I find a sedation dentistry provider?

As we mentioned before, sedation dentistry is becoming increasingly popular, but it is important to make sure you find a provider who is properly trained and safe.

Dr. Mandanas has teamed up with Sheila Jensen, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), to help us with patients that require something more than local anesthetics. Sheila has practiced anesthesia for almost twenty years in hospital and surgery centers, providing all types of anesthesia for all types of surgery.

Monitored anesthesia care administered by a separate provider allows Dr. Mandanas to give her full attention to the procedure while Sheila ensures that you are safe and comfortable!

Your sedation will begin once a small IV has been painlessly inserted. Medication to help you relax and to relieve pain will be administered by a pump that will measure exactly the amount of medication you require. Sheila will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, and oxygen saturation continuously throughout your procedure and for a short time after Dr. Mandanas is finished, to be sure it is safe for you to leave our care.

If you’re interested in visiting a dentist who understands your nerves and will do everything she can to ensure a comfortable visit, contact Dr. Mandanas today!

Here's Why Your Oral Microbiome Is So Important

Here’s Why Your Oral Microbiome Is So Important

Humans are not really single organisms, we are really superorganisms, coexisting with our microbiome!

We have three or four microbiomes in our bodies: oral, gut, skin and vaginal. Here we’ll discuss the oral microbiome and its relationship with the gut. We’ll cover some research that reveals how your oral microbiome affects whole-body health.

What is the oral microbiome?

Your mouth is home to the second most diverse community of micro-organisms in your body, after your gut.

In fact, it is home to over 700 species of bacteria that colonize both the hard and soft surfaces of your teeth.

Humans and their microbiomes evolved together over millions of years to create a superorganism, or holobiont, that represents a mostly harmonious symbiotic relationship. We keep them healthy, and they keep us healthy!

How does the oral microbiome get out of balance?

The balance in our oral microbiome can be disturbed by modern-day lifestyles and diets.

This lack of balance is called dysbiosis, and it allows disease-causing bacteria to grow, which can cause problems like caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis.

In particular, our modern consumption of excess refined sugar, as well as consumption of acidic drinks, and even cigarette smoking all impact the oral microbiome.

What happens if my oral microbiome is unbalanced?

Changes to the composition of the microbiome can have large impacts on human health.

There are bacteria in your mouth which convert nitrates in your food into nitrites. These nitrites are then swallowed and get converted into nitric oxide, which has been shown to be highly important to cardiovascular health.

Although the effects of these chemicals on health are still debated, there is some evidence that balance is key to staying healthy.

Even consuming fairly small amounts of nitrates has been shown to have positive effects such as reducing blood pressure and improving heart function. However, the nitric oxide which is produced has also been suggested to have negative effects on cells. It may not have been solved yet, but it’s clear that diet has more of an impact on your health than you might think!

On top of this, it is now accepted that “bad” oral bacteria exist in healthy mouths in low numbers. Oral disease isn’t actually the result of outside infection, but of something causing this bacteria to multiply out of control.

One particular dental issue caused by diet is caries. Carbohydrates in diet can be fermented into acids by oral bacteria, which leads to the demineralization of the tooth enamel. This then causes caries.

This isn’t to say you should stop eating carbs entirely! People have eaten them for centuries without having to much trouble, and they’re a great source of energy. However, sugar, a carbohydrate, is now eaten in way larger quantities than your oral microbiome can deal with, which is why 92% of American adults have had caries.

If you think you may have caries, or just need to make a routine appointment, you can learn more, or contact us!

What You Need to Know About Treatment of Sleep Apnea

What You Need to Know About Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that can cause discomfort and tiredness for many people. There are multiple causes that can lead to the condition. Here we’ll cover some of those causes and address some of the treatments.

What are the most common causes of sleep apnea?

There are two main types of sleep apnea. The most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The other form is called central sleep apnea and is a result of the brain not sending the correct signals to allow a person to breathe during sleep. OSA is caused by some kind of obstruction to the airways. Both the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the UK National Health Service list some of the most common causes of this obstruction. Among these are obesity, large tonsils, excess growth hormone leading to increased throat size, age, and changes in facial bone structure.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Sleep apnea is typically treated through the use of a CPAP machine. This stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The machine works by continuously and gently pumping air into a mask worn over the mouth and nose during sleep. This works by preventing your airways from narrowing while you sleep, thus improving your breathing. However, there are other options. An alternative is a device called a mandibular advancement device (MAD).

Although a post on the Harvard blog site suggests that this may not be effective for those with the more severe forms of the condition, a MAD may be useful for those with mild sleep apnea.

A MAD is a gum-shield-like device that works by pushing the lower jaw forward during sleep. This helps to open the airway, reducing breathing pauses. Its main advantage over the CPAP machine is increased comfort. Comfort is important in treating sleep apnea as compliance with the treatment is necessary for success. A MAD allows a patient to sleep on their side, rather than on their back, as with the CPAP.

Why should I see a dentist about sleep apnea?

Dr. Mandanas is a dentist, and you may be wondering what sleep apnea has to do with your teeth. However, Dr. Mandanas prides herself on her holistic and integrative approaches to dentistry. As a result of her experience with the mouth and its structure, she has a good idea of when patients may have an oral structure that could lead to sleep apnea. Although Dr. Mandanas is not able to provide diagnoses, she is able to identify symptoms and recommend a visit to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact Dr. Mandanas and she will be able to help with finding a treatment that works for you!

Here's Why You Should Go to a SMART Certified Dentist in Anchorage

Here’s Why You Should Go to a SMART Certified Dentist in Anchorage

If you’ve opened this blog, you are probably wondering what “SMART certified dentist” means.

Our very own Dr. Mandanas is a SMART certified dentist in Anchorage. We are very excited to share how this certification makes us different from other dentists and what makes it so beneficial to our patients!

You’ll learn why going to a SMART certified dentist matters. We hope you get a lot out of this blog, especially the information you need to make a smart choice about your dental provider (wink, wink). Enjoy!

What Does “SMART Certified Dentist” Mean?

The acronym SMART stands for the Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. The SMART certification is something administered by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT), a global network of dentists, health professionals, and scientists who research the biocompatibility of dental products.

Biocompatibility (our definition) – Compatibility with the mouth and body, typically used in reference to dental treatments and devices, meaning that they do not pose a risk to the health of the mouth and body.

You can learn more about biocompatibility in our blog, What Is Biocompatible Dentistry? Philosophy and Practice.

The IAOMT is especially interested in the risks associated with mercury amalgam fillings. The Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) was created to protect the mouth and body against those risks.

Why Does Going to a SMART Certified Dentist in Anchorage Matter?

So what are the risks of mercury amalgam fillings and why does going to a SMART certified dentist matter?

The risks of mercury amalgam are not agreed on by the scientific community. Mercury amalgam fillings release low levels of mercury in the form of vapors over their lifetime. The levels of mercury vapors released by amalgam fillings are not high enough to pose a risk to your health. Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have marked amalgam fillings safe for use in dental practice. However, studies have shown changes in the health complaints of patients who have had their amalgam fillings removed, though the exact reasons for these results have yet to be determined

There are many reasons why you might want to get your mercury amalgam fillings removed besides concern over mercury vapors. Mercury amalgam fillings have a lifespan of 10-15 years, which means they need to be replaced if they are getting old or worn. They can also cause teeth to chip and crack. You can learn more in our blog, 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Amalgam Fillings Replaced.

Because health complaints have been correlated with the removal of mercury amalgam fillings specifically, when you need to get your fillings removed, you should go to a SMART certified dentist. A SMART certified dentist is trained to protect you from the risks of mercury amalgam and they will replace your fillings with composite, a material that is known to be biocompatible, or, safe for your mouth and body.

What Is the Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique?

The Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique is a protocol that SMART certified dentists use to remove mercury amalgam fillings as safely as possible. We have broken it down into 10 easy-to-understand steps in our blog, What Is the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique? Get SMART About Your Fillings. The protocol includes water separation and air filtration devices, mercury absorbent cleaning materials, protective coverings, and more.

Do you need fillings or are you interested in getting your mercury amalgam fillings removed? We would love to get you in to see our SMART certified dentist here in Anchorage, Dr. Mandanas. She can discuss your treatment options with you and talk more about the risks of mercury amalgam. Schedule an appointment today!

We're Your Anchorage Holistic Dentist. Here's What That Means.

We’re Your Anchorage Holistic Dentist. Here’s What That Means.

Out of all the options for dental care in Anchorage, why should you go to your local, holistic dentist?

It’s true that other dentists offer many of the same services that we do, including general and cosmetic dentistry, implants, dentures, and sedation. It’s also true that we have all the same credentials.

So what makes us so different?

Your Anchorage holistic dentist considers some traditional dentistry practices harmful to the human body, whether or not they are beneficial to the teeth and gums. We provide natural alternatives to these traditional dental treatments that promote the health of your teeth and gums without harming your overall health.

Read this article and explore the links to see what we mean. If you agree with our perspective, you may want to switch to your Anchorage holistic dentist.

Ready to make the switch to your Anchorage holistic dentist? Send us a message or give us a call at (907) 276-5522!

1. Your Holistic Dentist Cares About the Health of the Whole Body

Your dental health has a greater impact on your overall health than you may think, affecting things like:

Explore the links above that interest you. We have done a lot of research on the connections between dental health and mental and physical health. The treatments you receive at our office are designed with this information in mind and will always promote your overall health, not just your dental health.

2. Your Holistic Dentist Looks for Natural Alternatives

Whenever a dental issue arises, we will recommend the most natural, non-invasive treatment first, such as:

All these treatments are intended to cause the least damage to your mouth and body and protect you from exposure to unnecessary chemicals.

3. Your Holistic Dentist Wants to Make Change for the Better

Many of the alternative dental treatments we provide are in response to patient discomfort and illness with traditional treatments. There are two in particular that we are most passionate about.

Our primary motivation is to provide dental care that is in your best interest.

If you have found that some of these topics are important to you, we would love to talk. Let’s get you in for an appointment with your Anchorage holistic dentist. Send us a message or give us a call at (907) 276-5522!

What Does Sleep Apnea Do to My Body?

What Does Sleep Apnea Do to My Body?

Have sleep apnea?

Here’s how the story goes, from your body’s perspective:

You fall asleep. Your body relaxes all your muscles, including those in your throat.

Uh oh. When your throat muscles relaxed, the tissues in your throat blocked your airway. Your body responds by waking you up, hoping to breathe.

Not only were you momentarily deprived of oxygen when your airway was blocked, decreasing the levels of oxygen in your blood, but your awakening has plunged you out of any deep sleep you were experiencing.

This awakening creates stress that causes your body to increase hormone production.

These episodes occurring at multiple points over the course of the night, by the time you wake up, your body and its systems are exhausted.

Sleep apnea can have severe long-term consequences to your health. Today, we are going to talk about what some of those may be.

Let’s first focus on the results of the sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea. Did you know that people with sleep apnea are five times more likely to get involved in car accidents? Sleep deprivation can cause:

  • Severe Fatigue
  • Mental Confusion
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Memory Loss
  • Headaches
  • Moodiness, Irritability, and Depression
  • Car Accidents

Now let’s talk about what stress and deprivation of oxygen can do to your body.

  • High Blood Pressure – The stress created by waking up due to oxygen deprivation increases blood pressure.
  • Atrial Fibrillation – Abnormal heartbeat such as atrial fibrillation, a fast, fluttery heart, is linked to sleep apnea.
  • Stroke – Increased levels of stroke is also linked to sleep apnea.
  • Heart Disease – People who have sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks, which may be attributed to high blood pressure, the stress of waking up, and oxygen deprivation.

Sleep apnea can also cause the following blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight-related issues.

  • Type 2 Diabetes – Sleep apnea strongly correlates with Type 2 Diabetes, with 80% or more of people who have Type 2 also struggling with sleep apnea. Although obesity could be the root cause of both diseases, lack of sleep can make it hard for the body to process insulin correctly. Sleep apnea increases your risk for developing insulin resistance which leads to Type 2.
  • Abnormal Cholesterol Levels – People who struggle with sleep apnea are more likely to have high levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
  • Weight Gain – Sleep apnea also correlates with weight gain. When the body releases additional hormones as a result of the stress caused by waking up, it releases a specific hormone called ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sugar. Additionally, when you’re exhausted from sleep apnea, your body struggles to convert food into energy rather than simply storing it as fat.
  • Metabolic Syndrome – Metabolic syndrome involves high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, and weight gain. It is also linked to higher risk of heart disease. In general, metabolic syndrome is correlated with sleep apnea.

Finally, the following health issues are related to sleep apnea:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – If someone already has COPD, sleep apnea can worsen their symptoms.
  • Liver Problems – Sleep apnea is correlated with higher than normal levels of liver enzymes and even fatty liver disease.
  • Complications with Medications and Surgery – People who struggle with sleep apnea can have issues with certain medication, specifically general anesthesia. Some have complications after major surgery because of their breathing problems, especially when they have been sedated or they were lying on their back.
  • Adult Asthma – It has been reported that people who receive treatment for sleep apnea have fewer asthma attacks.
  • Weakened Immune System – Lack of sleep weakens the immune system, something caused by sleep apnea.
  • Acid Reflux – People also report fewer cases of acid reflux after being treated for sleep apnea and vice versa.

Although sleep apnea is a sad story for your body, it can still end with a “happily ever after!” There are treatments available for people who struggle with sleep apnea, specifically mandibular advancement devices, which are far more comfortable than CPAP. Dr. Owen Mandanas would be happy to discuss your options with you. Reach out today!