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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.

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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.

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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!