You don’t need to spend one minute in dental school to know that your mouth isn’t an isolated part of your body. It’s intimately connected with every other system that keeps you healthy and thriving, and this is something our team at Paige Prather Smiles always keeps in mind while looking after our Franklin patients. Combining advanced techniques with industry-leading materials, our holistic approach enables us to give our patients much more than gorgeous, lasting smiles.
Holistic dentistry, also known as biological dentistry, is a comprehensive approach to oral health that considers the interconnectedness of the body and mouth. It emphasizes the use of natural, non-toxic materials and conservative techniques to promote overall well-being. Holistic dentists focus on the prevention and treatment of oral issues while taking into account their potential impact on the entire body. This approach often includes nutrition counseling, non-invasive treatments, and a minimally invasive philosophy, aiming to achieve optimal oral health while supporting the body's natural healing abilities.
Because holistic dentistry looks at the “big picture” when it comes to your oral and overall health, practitioners are able to be more proactive in preventing problems. Rather than simply fixing cavities as they pop up, looking at a person’s diet and lifestyle habits can greatly reduce the source of common issues like tooth decay and gum disease. A commitment to using non-toxic materials also helps patients avoid systemic risks that can stem from substances that can cause harm if they enter the digestive system or bloodstream.
Holistic dentistry is also focused on being conservative, meaning that your natural enamel and gum tissue is preserved at all costs. This leads to a stronger and more resilient mouth in the long run, plus it allows people to enjoy their naturally beautiful smile for longer!
At your initial visit to our holistic dental practice, we’ll prioritize building a personal connection with you. Our dedicated team will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth and share our findings and insights. Dr. Prather or Dr. Day will look beyond your oral health, delving into your overall well-being, daily habits, and medical background to gain a comprehensive understanding of your situation. Together, you’ll collaborate on addressing any existing oral concerns by targeting the root cause. Unlike conventional approaches, we extend our guidance to modifying your diet and lifestyle, empowering you to naturally reduce the likelihood of gum disease and other common dental ailments.
An integral aspect of holistic dentistry is the avoidance of potentially harmful substances. We utilize only safe and biocompatible materials, such as composite resin and porcelain. Furthermore, we specialize in the safe removal and replacement of amalgam mercury fillings. Taking the time to educate and inform, we’ll ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of our biological dental techniques and the diverse range of treatments we provide. Some notable examples of the unique services we offer include:
Ozone therapy is a technique that utilizes ozone gas to treat various oral conditions. It is a safe and non-invasive approach that harnesses the powerful antimicrobial properties of O3 to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Ozone therapy can aid in the treatment of dental infections, gum disease, and even tooth decay. Additionally, it promotes faster healing, improves the success rate of our procedures, reduces the need for invasive treatments, reduces recovery, and provides a natural alternative to (in some cases) avoid the need for antibiotics or other medications.
SMART stands for “Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique,” and it is a protocol that allows us to replace these restorations while keeping our patients, team, and environment safe from the well-documented harms that stem from mercury exposure. The goal is to replace the amalgam filling with a tooth-colored composite resin, which in addition to being aesthetically better, is also safer. As part of the SMART protocol, we will:
We prioritize the use of mercury-free materials for all fillings and restorations. Unlike mercury, which has been associated with various neurological and behavioral disorders, our healthier and aesthetically pleasing alternatives are game changers. These non-metal restorations offer numerous benefits, including resistance to expansion or contraction from temperature changes (lowering sensitivity and risk of cracking), minimal enamel removal during placement, and more. Furthermore, they form a superior bond with natural tooth structure, providing exceptional protection against bacteria and future decay. To ensure seamless results, our non-metal restorations are color-matched to blend harmoniously with a patient’s teeth.
Also known as photobiomodulation, laser biostimulation involves applying light energy to dental tissues, and this results in numerous advantageous changes on the cellular level. The light induces a chain of reactions that have been shown to accelerate wound healing, increase circulation, reduce inflammation, reduce acute and chronic pain, assist in tissue regeneration, and restore normal cellular function. It has a wide range of applications in dentistry, especially when it comes to the management of gum disease, but it’s basically used to jumpstart your body’s own natural processes when healing itself.
A cavitation is an area where there is a void in the bone due to the area not filling in properly during healing. This problem usually occurs at the site where a tooth was extracted but can occur in other areas as well. Bacteria can collect within a cavitation and lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms. If Dr. Prather determines that you have this issue, she can perform a minor surgery to clear out the dead bone, kill harmful bacteria, and help your bone to heal properly.
If you are new to the idea of holistic dentistry, you may have a lot of questions about what it is, what it involves, and what you can expect as the patient of a holistic dentist. We understand that, which is why we have put together the following list of FAQs about this approach to oral healthcare. If your specific questions are not addressed here, reach out to us directly. Dr. Prather and our team look forward to speaking with you!
Just like conventional dentists, holistic dentists must complete dental school and earn either a DDS or DMD. They are also required to periodically attend continuing education courses so they can stay up-to-date with developments in the field of oral healthcare.
In many cases, holistic dentists outshine their conventional counterparts when it comes to education. That is because they are passionate about discovering technology, treatments, and techniques that will enable them to provide the best possible care for their patients.
It can be hard to find a provider who is truly holistic. It has become such a popular thing these days that many companies have started to incorporate holistic products and statements about services to attract patients seeking a more natural approach. It is important to get to know your provider and his or her personal goals. More often than not you will find a provider who practices a holistic lifestyle themselves will be more passionate about learning about and staying informed on the best alternative options. One of the most important things about choosing a dental home is finding a provider you trust and relate to. Get to know your dentist. This is another reason we remain outside the insurance model. Dr. Prather truly enjoys getting to know her patients and taking the time to make sure their health goals are met. No one will see eye to eye 100% of the time but you can be sure Dr. Prather will be open to each concern and work with each patient to come up with a custom plan to achieve their goals.
Most holistic dentists offer services that are similar to what you would find in a conventional dentist’s practice but with more focus on prevention. The dentist and team support the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal and will take the time to explore alternatives to conventional treatment whenever possible to avoid the risks of introducing foreign materials in the mouth. When materials become necessary you can be sure these materials are well researched, the least toxic and most biocompatible options available. For example, you can get your teeth cleaned and examined, receive restorative care for damaged teeth, and even undergo aesthetic treatments to enhance your smile. There are lots of amazing natural alternatives to help you have a beautiful and healthy smile.
You may also find services that are not available at regular dental practices. For example, holistic practitioners often provide ozone therapy, soft tissue laser treatments, photobiomodulation, and treatment for lip and tongue tie.
Each dentist must decide for themselves what type of patient they want to center their practice on. Here at Paige Prather Smiles, we are happy to welcome patients of all ages, including young children. We do everything we can to put little ones at ease and help them establish the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Most holistic dentists are happy to help patients file insurance claims. However, keep in mind that some insurance companies try to dictate the methods used to care for patients. As an unrestricted provider we are better able to meet the needs of our patients often with a more conservative approach rather than conform to arbitrary guidelines that are dictated by covered codes rather than independent health goals. We put our patients’ needs first. We offer financing options to help our patients obtain the oral health they deserve without the worry of dental insurance coverage. We also encourage patients to join our VIP Membership Club, which provides a range of benefits and discounts in exchange for a reasonable monthly fee.