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The best six doctors anywhere and no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend, if only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease, your will they'll mend....
And charge you not a shilling.

Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, 1990s
 
Holistic Dentistry FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Holistic Dentistry (Definition / Overview)
 
New Patient Questions:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Heavy Metal Toxicity:
 
 
 
 
Cavitations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Snoring/Sleep Disturbance/OSB Treatment:
 
 
 
Whitening:
 
Orthodontic Questions:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oral Electro-galvanism (electricity in the mouth):
 
 
 
 
 
TMJ / TMD:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Root Canals:
 
 
Implants:
 
Extractions:
 
General Holistic Dentistry Links…
 
Holistic Oriented Orthodontic links…
 

 




Holistic Dentistry (Definition / Overview)
What does it mean to be a Holistic Dentist(also known as biologic, mercury free, and whole person dentist)
     The Simple Answer:
Holistic dentistry is an alternative approach to dentistry that believes your oral health is absolutely interconnected to your overall health.  It focuses on using biocompatible (non-toxic) restorative materials, eliminating infections, and promoting optimal teeth / jaw / head / neck structural relationships.  Because no dentist can “do it all,” they will often work together with a wide variety of healthcare professionals promoting integrated, complimentary care.  The focus of a true Holistic Dentist is to identify areas of oral disease and structural dysfunction that may be negatively impacting the health and wellbeing of the patient.  As a rule, they will then use for the least invasive, least traumatic, and least toxic means of diagnosis and treatment.  True holistic care supports the body’s natural abilities of self-healing and regeneration.
     The Detailed Answer:
First it must be explained what all holistic dentists have in common.  They have all graduated from a Post Graduate (Doctoral) Program for Dentistry and are certified with the credentials DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine).  Beyond that things get a little complicated….  For the most part, a person who defines themself as a “Holistic Dentist” is someone who graduated from dental school and at some point came to the conclusion that the impacts of dental therapies could be seen throughout the body.  They came to believe that the mouth is not disconnected from the rest of the body, and that anything done in the mouth can have significant positive or negative effects on the overall health of the patient.
Unfortunately because there is no “School of Holistic Dentistry,” there is no standard by which you, the consumer, can evaluate a holistic dentist.  Every Holistic Dentist’s path is unique and different because their post-dental school education is unique and different.  The education of some may have emphasized heavy metal (mercury) toxicity, or orthopedic orthodontics, while others may have focused on nutrition and preventative programs.  The point is, knowing the dentist’s educational background will give you a good idea what their beliefs and philosophies are, and will therefore help you determine who may be a good fit with your own personal beliefs.
These are some of the different beliefs / philosophies of holistic dentists – in order of most to least common:
• Not Using Amalgam / Mercury Fillings •
• Knowing and Practicing Proper Mercury Removal •
• Consideration of Heavy Metal Issues (Electrical / Toxic) •
• Multi-disciplinary (Integrated) Healthcare •
• Nutritional / Preventative Therapies •
• Orthopedic Orthodontics / TMJ Therapy •
• Cavitations •
• Treatment / Diagnosis of Restricted Breathing •

**NOTE:  It is increasingly popular for dentists to call themselves holistic, mercury-free, or biological dentists simply because they no longer use mercury / silver fillings.  Make sure any dentist you are considering has received advanced training in the proper handling of mercury / silver fillings that are already in your mouth – as prescribed by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT – www.iaomt.org).  According to the IAOMT, Mercury / amalgam / silver filling removal without following these guidelines may be hazardous to your health as well as the health of the dental practice team.**

For more information regarding the nature of holistic dentistry you may find this link useful…
     Answers.com – Definition and History of Holistic Dentistry
     A great article about the overall impacts of dentistry and oral-facial health on overall health & wellbeing
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New Patient Questions:
How do I become a new patient?
We look forward to meeting and working with you.  Clicking on this link (New Patient Forms) will download the New Patient Information Forms.  You may also contact us by telephone or e-mail to request that these forms be E-mailed or mailed to you via USPS.  Fill out this information and mail it back to us – We DO need the original signatures on the forms.  We will review your forms and contact you to make an appointment.  It is important that you fill these forms out as thoroughly as possible.  The forms help us get to know you and your health history, and lay the groundwork for us to understand your current health situation.  Generally there is a bit of a waiting list to become a patient at our office, feel free to call at any time to find out where on that list you are positioned.  As soon as we have an opening for you we will give you a call to try and schedule.

What will happen at my first visit?
Since each patient is an individual, each first appointment is tailored to his or her needs.  The time and investment for this visit varies according to those needs, and we will discuss them with you when scheduling your initial visit.  Because of our commitment to your overall health and wellbeing, as well as our desire to provide you with the best, most comprehensive information possible, we do not “do” any dental work at your first appointment (this includes a cleaning).  Everything that we do at your first visit will be diagnostic in nature.  This means we will be taking records and doing a thorough exam, in order to accurately diagnose your current situation.

In preparation for your visit, we ask you to make any additional notes about your current symptoms and health concerns you have which you think may be helpful in providing you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.  We encourage you to describe them briefly but thoroughly, estimating how long you have experienced each symptom and grading the discomfort on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = mild, 10 = severe).  You may also find it useful to spend some time writing about the events in your life as they relate to your health - or creating a timeline of your health issues and major life events.  If you do this, please bring it with you or include it with the other material you send.

If you’ve had x-rays or dental study models of your teeth within the past two years, we encourage you to send them in advance (after we’ve scheduled your first appointment) or bring them with you.  In most cases we will need updated x-rays, study models and other records taken on the day of your appointment, though bringing previous records has advantages.  If you are addressing any medical issues with another health practitioner, we appreciate your sending or bringing copies of any medical records, tests and medication history that may pertain to your dental situation.

At the beginning of your first visit, one of our patient coordinators will meet with you and start getting to know you as an individual - not just your current health concerns, but also your needs, desires and values.  After this conversation you will likely meet with Dr. Laughlin, or our hygienist.  Then we will conduct all appropriate exams and diagnostic tests to determine your current dental health status.  Once the exams and testing are complete, we will setup  a future Consultation Appointment to review (with you) our findings and recommendations.  We encourage you to ask about all available treatment options, what we are recommending and why.  We also encourage you to take notes and ask questions in order to fully understand our recommendations and philosophies.  We will give you reprints of relevant scientific articles, information on internet resources, and other references to help you gather the knowledge you need to make the best, most informed decisions about your health care.  With this information in hand, you are free - and encouraged - to choose whichever path is best for you.
**We often recommend bringing a spouse, other relative, or friend to provide you with feedback and support**
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How long will my first appointment take and how much will it cost?
The time and investment for this visit varies according to your needs, and we will discuss them with you when scheduling your first appointment.  This first visit typically takes 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

How long will it take to complete my treatment?
On a basic level, the type of treatment needed will largely determine the answer to this question.  Orthodontics usually takes 1 – 3 years while general restorative dentistry can be completed in a relatively short period of time (weeks to months).  This question can be more accurately answered after all needed records are completed and analyzed.  An even better estimate of needed time can be given after the first phase of treatment is completed, and patient progress and cooperation can be determined.  Patient cooperation is a critical component in determining total treatment time.  High levels of cooperation will not only reduce treatment time, and (therefore) the cost of treatment, but will also increase the level of success we can achieve!  Treatment for children, before their permanent teeth have fully erupted, will often involve breaks in treatment while baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent ones. 
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How much will it cost to complete my treatment?
We can answer this question after all needed records are completed and analyzed.  We give new patients a cost estimate for their main concerns at the Consultation Appointment that follows the first visit (New Patient Initial Exam).

Do you accept my insurance coverage?
Yes we gladly submit insurance re-imbursement requests on behalf of our patients.  We are not, however, an “in-network” provider for any insurance company.  Payment in full is expected at the time of service, and your insurance company will reimburse you.  When you visit our office, please make sure that we have all the necessary information, including up-to-date ID cards.  Do remember, though, that your benefits contract is between you, your insurance provider and, as applicable, your employer.  You are, therefore, the one with control and power when dealing with your insurance company, we have very little influence.  We cannot guarantee that your insurance provider will pay for any given treatment.  We are not a provider those insurance programs that require the doctor / clinic to be an “in-network” provider in order to submit insurance reimbursement requests (Badger Care, Medicare, and Medicaid are examples of this type of insurance).
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I do not have insurance.  Do you have payment plans?
Payment is expected in full at the time of service. We accept cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard.  We also have a program available through Health Care Credit LineIf you qualify for this service, you have 90 days to make payments.  When making your appointment, our front desk receptionist can give you the needed information.  Some treatment, such as orthodontics, is done over a long period of time.  In these cases there is usually an initial down payment, with equal monthly payments on the remaining balance.  When a patient has accepted a substantial treatment plan with an agreed upon timetable additional payment plans can sometimes be arranged.
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Do you work with children?  Are you a family practice?
Yes.  We are a family practice dental office.

At what age should my child begin having routine dental visits?
The ADA’s recommendation is to have the first visit at one year of age.  The main purpose for such a visit is two-fold, to have a pleasant first visit for the child as well as to review appropriate oral hygiene care with the parents.  The point at which a child should begin routine / regular visits varies with the maturity of the child.  However, if you suspect your child has a problem, a dental visit is important no matter what the age.  An infant with no teeth can still benefit from an oral exam.  A good strategy is to accustom the child to dentistry by permitting him/her to observe an older, well-behaved sibling having a routine cleaning.  Though most orthodontists (or dentists who perform orthodontics) advocate waiting until all (or nearly all) of the permanent teeth are in before treating / evaluating the need for orthodontic care, we strongly recommend an evaluation at an early age.  We believe that all children should have at least a basic evaluation done no later than six years old and often as early as two years old.
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Going to the dentist makes me very nervous.  Do you practice sedation dentistry?
Through the years, we have found that the vast majority of nervous patients do not need deep (intravenous / intra-oral) sedation.  Most patients do well using nitrous-oxide (laughing gas), listening to music on headphones, or watching a movie (options that are offered to our patients).  For the extremely nervous patient, we can supplement this with a prescription for an oral tranquilizer, taken before the appointment.  However, you cannot drive after taking this sedative.
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Do you offer fluoride treatments?
No.  There is considerable debate surrounding this topic; until this issue has been settled by scientists and medical professionals on both sides, we believe it is wisest to err on the side of caution.  Therefore we advocate avoiding the use / consumption of fluoride as a method of preventing tooth decay.  We currently offer a product that can re-mineralize areas of the enamel using calcium and phosphate.  For more information you can visit the following website links….
     Citizens for Safe Drinking Water
     A Website Exclusively About The Fluoride Debate
     Fluroide Debate PDF Booklet
     Site dedicated to free and healthy drinking water
     American Dental Association Position – ADA
     Fluoride Action Network
     Time Magazine’s Article in 2005
     Keepers of the Well
     EPA’s position
     CDC’s position
     Health World’s Position
     Dr. Cole’s Article
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What information should I bring with me from my previous/current Dentist?
If you’ve had x-rays or dental study models of your teeth within the past two years, we encourage you to bring them with you.  In some cases we may need to take digital x-rays, study models, and other records taken on the day of your appointment.

I live a long distance from you.  Do you have any referrals for a Holistic Dentist closer to where I live?
Holistic dentists are few and far between.  Those with the wide range of services and knowledge base that we offer are even more rare (general dentistry, orthopedic orthodontics, TMJ / TMD therapies, sleep disturbance treatment, cavitation diagnosis, periodontal surgery alternatives, etc…).  There are a few organizations that may be able to help you in your search:
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Do you give nutritional counseling?
We are glad to discuss your nutritional concerns.  We believe that nutrition is a critical component to the overall health of our patients (and ourselves).  While we do have our own specific beliefs, it is our opinion that the subject is too important for us to offer incomplete advice.  Therefore, we will often refer to nutritional counselors that can meet the needs and desires of our patients.  The following are three nutritional programs that we strongly recommend:
     Sally Fallon / Weston Price Nutritional Philosophy
     Karen Hurd – Renowned Nutritionist
     Eat Right For Your Blood Type – Dr. Peter D’Adamo
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Orthodontic Questions:
What type of orthodontics do you practice?
We perform Functional Jaw Orthopedics (FJO), also known as Orthopedic Orthodontics, whose focus is providing the best possible structural foundation for the teeth and jaws while reducing / eliminating the need for extractions.  According to leaders in the field, in approximately 90% of cases where extractions are recommended, FJO can provide excellent results without removing teeth that are not 3rd molars.  This is a progressive form of treatment that uses both fixed and removable appliances to straighten teeth and jaws, allowing us to get good results while addressing a wide range of complex cases.  FJO treatment works with natural jaw / mouth growth and development to help patients obtain their optimal oral and physical health, resulting in beautiful broad smiles.  At Health Centered Dentistry, we are committed to providing excellent, technologically advanced treatment options and spend hundreds of hours in continuing education EVERY YEAR!  Our most recent philosophical / therapeutic additions include Damon™ Brackets (braces) – faster acting and more cranially friendly, as well as increased attention to tongue / airway function.
Fixed Appliance Orthodontics or “braces”, uses brackets bonded to each tooth.  Wires are then connected the brackets, providing the gradual forces necessary to move teeth.
  Removable Appliance Orthodontics use sophisticated removable appliances that work in harmony with specific muscle forces and growth patterns to move the teeth and develop the jaws.
Excellent Reference Material and Videos for Functional Jaw Orthopedics:
      Functional Jaw Orthopedics with the ALF Appliance - Educational website for the ALF
      National Health Report: Straight Teeth With A Healthier Twist - Dr. Darick Nordstrom (6 minutes)
      60 Minutes: Part 1 Healthier Orthodontic Options (8 minutes)
      60 Minutes: Part 2 Healthier Orthodontic Options (8 minutes)
      Adult Orthodontics Video - A Health Enhancing Process - Dr. William Hang (8 minutes)
      Face Focused - Website of Dr. William Han
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How does Functional Jaw Orthopedics differ from Traditional Orthodontics?
Functional Jaw Orthopedics treat patients at an earlier age when problems can be recognized, and usually aims to make enough room in the jaws for teeth to fit.  This technique usually results in broader, healthier smiles.  Traditional orthodontics treats later on in life, usually with more extractions of teeth, which can result in narrower smiles, retruded (flattened) profiles, and loss of vertical support.  Because the difference in smile results can be seen, FJO treatment is increasingly popular even as the removal of teeth has been decreasing.  The bottom line is this:  most people who need orthodontic treatment have crowded teeth.  Therefore, you can start early to make room for teeth, or you accept that later your options become increasingly limited.  Early intervention may ensure that more invasive and expensive options (extractions or jaw surgery) may be avoided. Functional Jaw Orthopedics is progressive and, most importantly, shows excellent clinical results – wider smiles.  FJO treatment is practiced by a growing number of highly skilled general dentists, pedodontists, and orthodontists in both Europe and North America (www.smilepage.com).
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Why is it better to avoid extractions whenever possible?
If we extract teeth (other than 3rd molars / wisdom teeth) for the purpose of “having room to straighten the teeth” (in other words for aesthetic purposes), it will almost certainly have the result of reducing the size of the jaws and the vertical dimension (distance between tip of the nose and bottom of the chin) of the face.  Why are these differences important?  When the size of the jaws are reduced the tongue (strongest muscle in the body) does not shrink to match its new environment.  This means it will likely be forced backward into the throat, interfering with the function of naso-pharyngeal airway.  This can have a variety of negative, bodywide effects.  When we reduce the vertical dimensions of the jaws we increase the stresses and pressures experienced by the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), which can result in significant structural problems as these forces mount over time.  See below for symptoms and consequences of TMJ problems.
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At what age do you begin to treat patients for orthodontic concerns?
A Functional Jaw examination can take place as early as two years old, when all the baby teeth have erupted and the upper and lower jaws function together.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic consultation by age seven.  Because Functional Jaw Orthopedics emphasizes early treatment to prevent and correct jaw alignments, appliances could be prescribed as early as age 2, 3 or 4.  Just as with modern early orthopedic correction of crooked feet, early jaw orthopedics is better than delaying while crooked growth occurs.  We strongly recommend that shortly after birth every baby be seen for cranio-sacral therapy (upledger.com).  The birth process is very traumatic and many issues that develop later in life can be helped / corrected by some simple therapies when they are still babies.
     Craniosacral therapy:
          Healthline – general therapy definition & overview
          Upledger Institute – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) 
          Upledger Institute – Some great testimonials and stories
          Upledger Clinic – More great testimonials
     Craniosacral work and babies / children:
          The Birth Ecology Project – Excellent overview of benefits of craniosacral work for infants
          Kellymom Breastfeeding and Parenting
          MyBreastfeeding.com stressing the importance of Craniosacral Therapy
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Am I too old to undergo orthodontic treatment?
No.  We have treated patients from 8 weeks old to patients in their 80’s.  The body is almost never too old or young to respond to this positive treatment.

Should I bring all the records (study models, x-rays) from my previous orthodontist, or do you need additional information?
Any records you bring can be useful.  That being said, we require recent, accurate records to offer the most appropriate recommendations; therefore, we often need to supplement records that are brought to us with our own diagnostics.
 
How long will it take to complete my treatment?
On a basic level, the type of treatment needed will largely determine the answer to this question.  Orthodontics usually takes 1 – 3 years while general restorative dentistry can be completed in a relatively short period of time (weeks to months).  This question can be more accurately answered after all needed records are completed and analyzed.  An even better estimate of needed time can be given after the first phase of treatment is completed, and patient progress and cooperation can be determined.  Patient cooperation is a critical component in determining total treatment time.  High levels of cooperation will not only reduce treatment time, and (therefore) the cost of treatment, but will also increase the level of success we can achieve!  Treatment for children, before their permanent teeth have fully erupted, will often involve breaks in treatment while baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent ones. 
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How much will it cost to complete my treatment?
We can answer this question after all needed records are completed and analyzed.  We give new patients a cost estimate for their main concerns at the Consultation Appointment that follows the first visit (New Patient Initial Exam).

Will I have to wear an appliance for the rest of my life to keep my teeth from becoming crowded again?
It is our goal that your healthy tongue, cheek, and lip habits along with proper nutrition will help the retention of your completed orthodontic.  We do not permanently cement retention wires onto your teeth, as some orthodontic treatments require.  We usually end orthodontic treatments with a removable retention appliance that is worn regularly for a set period of time, and then worn occasionally as the patient finds need for it.  Generally speaking, the older a patient is when they start orthopedic orthodontics the longer they will need to wear some form of retention appliance while sleeping.
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Heavy Metal Toxicity:
Is there an ongoing controversy surrounding amalgam/mercury/silver fillings?
Yes there is, and this controversy predates the founding of the American Dental Association (ADA) back in the 1800s.  The ADA continues to stand by its affirmation that mercury fillings are 100% safe for use in the human mouth.  The material is, however, classified as a controlled / restricted material both before putting it into your mouth and after it is taken out of your mouth.  In fact, the EPA regulates dental mercury waste as a “hazardous material” and imposes serious fines if not properly handled.  The ADA has recently changed their previous stance that no mercury evaporates (off gasses) from the mercury / amalgam fillings once they are safely placed in the mouth of the patient.  Their current stance is that minute amounts of mercury vapor do indeed escape from the mercury fillings, but that the amount is so small it poses no negative health risk.  Under substantial pressure as a result of a 2006 lawsuit, the FDA has also recently changed its stance regarding mercury fillings.  It now cautions the use of mercury / amalgam filling usage in pregnant / breast-feeding women, children, and those who have a higher risk of mercury poisoning.
It is our position that if there is any question as to a dental material possibly having a significant negative impact on a person’s health, we should avoid using that material until all questions have been satisfactorily answered.  Patients often come to us requesting that they have their mercury / amalgam fillings removed and replaced with non-metal, tooth-colored materials.  We offer these procedures as requested by a patient or as necessary when decay is present in an already existing mercury / amalgam filling.
     Wikipedia’s Take on the Questions
     Mercury Amalgam Website – Good Historical Information
     Whole Body Dentistry – Dr. Mark Breiner, renowned author
     Dr. Tom McGuire’s Mercury Detoxification Website
     ADA’s position on Mercury / Amalgam fillings
     International Center for Nutritional Research
     Consumers for Dental Choice – group significantly responsible for the FDA lawsuit and its positional change
     Discover Magazine’s article covering the topic
     Dr. Cole’s article
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What precautions do you take when removing amalgam/mercury/silver fillings?
We feel it is very import to safeguard everyone involved because the ADA has indicated that mercury vapor continuously evaporates from silver / amalgam fillings, and we know that drilling on these fillings can release even greater amounts of mercury vapor and particles.  We have implemented all of the IAOMT recommended protocols to protect patients, Doctors, and staff members when working on teeth containing amalgam/mercury/silver fillings, and are constantly seeking additional ways to improve our protocols. Currently we utilize the following precautions: rubber dam application, high power vacuum suctions – one over the tooth and one held by the dental assistant, continuous water irrigation over the surgical area, oxygen nose mask (to deliver fresh, clean oxygen to the patient for breathing), “elephant trunk” air vacuum, mercury vapor ionizer, and fresh air exchanger (HVAC system).  Our practice has used mercury separators to protect the environment’s water supply for almost 20 years.
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What materials do you use instead of amalgam/mercury/silver?
Short answer:  “non-metal,” tooth colored filling materials. 
Long answer: it is a chemically bonded (glued), light cured (hardened), glass composite resin (tooth colored) filling material that contains slight amounts of non-reactive metal oxides so they are visible on x-rays.  There are many different types of this material.  We use the product that is the most hypo-allergenic for the greatest number of people and lasts the longest – best for the most people.  If a patient is extremely chemically / environmentally sensitive, we recommend that the Clifford Compatibility Test be performed to determine which material their body would have the best reaction to.
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Amalgam / Mercury / Silver Filling Replacement:
If you choose to have your amalgam replaced we are happy to provide this service using the safety precautions recommended by the IAOMT.  However, we would never recommend to any patient that they replace their amalgam fillings.  As a patient, this is your decision to make, and yours alone.  In addition to the safety precautions, we do all we can to structurally strengthen the tooth, with its new resin composite restoration, in order to avoid future cracks / fractures.  In some cases, when a great deal of tooth structure has been lost, we will recommend a zirconium (all-porcelain) crown.
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Oral Electro-galvanism (electricity in the mouth):
What is oral electro-galvanism?
When you put two different metals together in an elctrolytic solution (electrolyte), just like mercury / amalgam fillings and saliva, electrical current can be generated.  Basically this creates a battery in the mouth, and is called oral electro-galvanism.  Even though the amount of electricity is quite small, you must consider that the nervous system of the human body is managed by extremely small amounts of electrical current.  
There are generally at least five different metals inside each mercury amalgam filling (mercury, silver, copper, tin, nickel).  Therefore, electrical current will almost always be generated between mercury amalgam fillings because they are in contact with saliva.  Even greater levels of current can often be found between metal crowns and these mercury amalgam fillings.  This electrical current may interfere with the normal energy pathways in our bodies.  Electro-galvanism occurs at a higher rate when a variety of metals are present in the mouth. Additional resources / explanations:
      International Center for Nutritional Research
      Dr. Farid’s Newsletter
      Dr. Wolch's website
      Answers.com - Holistic Dentistry
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How do you diagnose oral electro-galvanism?
Oral Electro-Galvanism is very simple to diagnose.  We use an Oral Potential Meter that measures the amount and strength of electrical current being generated within a person’s mouth.  This test is quick, easy, and free of discomfort; it is as simple as touching teeth and gum tissue with the sensors.  The unit we use is manufactured in Wisconsin and has been used in the industry for many years.  A more in-depth explanation of what it does and how it works can be found at the link listed below.
      Oral Potential Meter Explanation and Specifications
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What are symptoms of oral electro-galvanism that I might see in my body?
There are a variety of symptoms that others have related to oral electro-galvanism, many of which have been noted to improve when the oral galvanism is reduced, these include: headaches, migraines, dizziness, nausea, amalgam tattoos, lack of concentration and memory, insomnia, psychological problems, tinnitus, vertigo, epilepsy, hearing loss, eye problems, mouth pain, and others.
      International Center for Nutritional Research
      Dr. Farid’s Newsletter
      Health First Website
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Use the interactive chart to learn more about each tooth's relationship with your overall health. Just click on the tooth to see which teeth and organs are on the same meridian.



COULD YOUR TEETH BE CAUSING YOU ILL HEALTH? As a Biological Dentist I believe the conditions present in a patient’s mouth are a reflection of their overall health. In accordance with ancient Chinese medicine, the mouth is a reflection of the person’s total health. Ancient Chinese physicians would examine the patient’s teeth, gums, tongue and oral cavity before they examined the rest of patient’s body. In biological dentistry, we stress the use of non-toxic restorative materials for dental work and focus on the unrecognized impact that dental toxins, dead teeth and hidden dental infections can have on the patient’s overall health. I believe tooth decay, periodontal disease, materials used in restorations, root canaled teeth and infected past extraction sites are all factors that may affect a patient’s health. A condition in one part of a patient’s body may be the cause of a health issue located in another part of the patient’s body. This condition is called Focal Infection Theory. We see Focal Infection Theory when patients are suffering from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, thyroid dysfunction, infertility, kidney dysfunction, breathing problems, cancer, digestive complications, joint pain and limited joint motion just to mention a few. This is not to say that the patient became ill as a result of their mouth problem(s) but that it may be a contributing factor.*


 


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How do you treat oral electro-galvanism?
The way you treat this problem is to remove the metals from the mouth.  However, while a dentist can diagnose oral electro-galvanism he(she) cannot recommend that the patient have all the metal removed (from the oral cavity) in order to eliminate the oral galvanism. That is really for the patient to decide; it is a completely elective procedure.  There is no “standard of care” when it comes to treating oral electro-galvanism because lawmakers and state dental board members (the dental industry) do not see it as being a dental health concern.  There is evidence to support the belief that metal elimination in the oral cavity results in a reduction of oral electro-galvanism, which in turn results in improved overall health.  This is supported by anecdotal based evidence (real clinical patient results), and includes decreases in both gum tissue inflammation and occurrence of periodontal disease.  However, dentists are not permitted to diagnose body-wide ranging symptoms, such as are listed above, as being directly attributable to oral electro-galvanism.  Therefore we do not recommend dental solutions to body-wide symptoms of oral galvanism.  We can only diagnosis the presence of such electrical currents and help understand what the patient’s options are to eliminate the electricity, if they should want to.  Should a patient decide to proceed with heavy metal elimination, how much should they remove and how fast?  Again, this is up to the patient and their health care practitioner / medical doctor to determine.
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TMJ / TMD:
What does that stand for?
TMJ is the abbreviation for Temporomandibular Joint and is often used to indicate problems, or dysfunction, with the joint.
TMD is the abbreviation for Temporomandibular Dysfunction and refers to problems or dysfunctions surrounding the TMJ.

What are the symptoms of having issues with my TMJ?
TMJ disorders have many signs and symptoms. It's often hard to know for sure if you have TMJ, because one or all of these symptoms can also show up as a result of other health issues. We can help make a proper diagnosis by taking a complete medical and dental history, conducting a clinical examination, and taking appropriate X-rays, CT Scans or MRI imaging. Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:
Headaches (often mimicking migraines) Pain brought on by yawning, opening the mouth widely, or chewing
Earaches   Jaws that "get stuck," lock or “go out” of position
Pain and / or pressure behind the eyes   Tenderness of the jaw muscles
A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth   A sudden change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
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How do you diagnose TMJ / TMD issues?
We need specific diagnostic records and a health history to correctly diagnose a TMJ disorder.  The records needed may include but are not limited to the following:
  Panoramic x-ray: This x-ray shows the entire mouth area - all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws – as well as the jawbones and sinuses in a single view.
  Cephalometric x-ray:  This type of X-ray shows a side view of the head and neck, it is useful for examining the teeth in relation to the jaw and profile of the individual.
  Study models/casts These are impressions of the upper and lower teeth, they are used to evaluate the start position of teeth and are used to create appliances.
  Diagnostic Photos These photos help us to analyze facial imbalances, postural issues, and record the initial position of teeth.
  Kernot Analysis A drafting / diagram to help evaluate the position of the teeth and the plane of occlusion, in comparison with the TMJ.
  Jaw record This is a wax impression of how the upper and lower teeth fit together.
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What are my treatment options for TMJ?
This will depend on the results of diagnostic records taken.  Treatment options range from Physical Therapy and appliances that alleviate or control symptoms to Orthopedic / Orthodontic / TMJ treatment whose end goal is the non-surgical reconstruction of the jaw, thereby reducing or eliminating TMJ problems.  Other healthcare practitioners may also be called upon to assist in a person’s recovery.

Will I have to wear a TMJ appliance for the rest of my life?
This depends on the severity of each individual case and the treatment chosen.

Will my insurance cover treatment for TMJ?

This depends on your specific Dental/Medical Insurance.  We have found the best success in payment from insurance companies comes about when the patient plays an active role in corresponding with the insurance company personally.
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Root Canals:
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth's pulp (includes nerves, blood and lymph vessels), a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled.  There is some controversy surrounding the use of this therapy due to dental medicine not being able to completely sterilize the tooth structure.  There is a great deal of information available out there on the internet as well as in books regarding what each side of the controversy has to say.
        Wikipedia provides a great description of root canals
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Do you perform Root Canals at your office?
Currently, when a patient requests a root canal, we will refer the patient to an Endodontist (Root Canal Specialist) for treatment.  We always provide the patient with options and explain that due to the internal structure of a tooth, complete sterilization of the root is not possible.  Historically, there has been some disagreement in the dental industry regarding the overall health implications of root canal therapy.  There was a period of time in the 1900s when significant studies showed root canals to have substantial negative health implications and dentists across the nation began extracting root canaled teeth.  Currently there are still dentists that have concerns about the safety of root canals, though the majority of dentists consider them to be safe.  Here are some sites you can go to for further research…
        The ADA’s official stance and FAQs
        Interview with Dr. George Meing (Author of “Root Canal Cover-Up”)
        A medical doctor’s views on root canals
        TMJ & Facial Pain Center – Dr. Wesley Shankland
        An interview between Dr. Mercola and Dr. George Mening regarding root canals and cavitations
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Cavitations:
What is a Cavitation?
Very simply, a cavitation is a “hole” in a bone.  When dentists speak of cavitations they are speaking of areas of the jawbone where the bone has been infected and the body has attempted to wall off the infection.  The end result is a semi-contained “bubble” of infectious bacteria, dead (necrotic) bone material, and other toxins.  This toxic sludge will slowly leak out (eventually), spreading to other areas of the body and can negatively impact the overall health of the patient – focal infection theory.  These are all scientific facts that are taught to every medical doctor and dentist that graduates from an accredited medical/dental school in the United States.  The difficulty lies in diagnosing these hidden areas of bacteriological infection.
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Why do Cavitations develop in the jawbone?
It is believed that cavitations mainly develop as a direct result of incomplete healing from some form of trauma to the jawbone.  There are many types of trauma that can begin this process.  The list of such traumas include tooth extractions, root canals, jaw surgery, and restorations (crowns or fillings) that are “left too high” and cause a mini-trauma with every bite.  Other causes of cavitation formation are reduced or poor circulation in the jawbone, clotting disorders, and the use of steroids, blood clotting medications or some osteoporosis drugs.  It has also been found that periodontal disease may increase the likelihood of a person developing a jawbone cavitation.
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How do you diagnose a cavitation in my jawbone?
According to the medical / dental establishment and the insurance industry the only method of diagnosing a jawbone cavitation is to undergo explorative surgery of the suspected area.  According to these groups all other methods of “diagnosis” are merely screening techniques that indicate likely areas of dead bone (cavitation), but not an actual diagnosis of the condition.  Screening for cavitations through x-ray readings can be difficult because they are rarely readily visible.  Most often they show up only as very subtle differentiations in the texture pattern of the bone.  Why is this so?  Osteonecrosis (Cavitations) is a disease of the marrow spaces of bone and 40% to 50% of such bone must be destroyed before changes can be seen on x-rays.  Therefore, x-rays will likely be interpreted as normal unless (1) there’s a significant amount of bony destruction or (2) the doctor is specifically looking for possible areas where the health of the jawbone may have been compromised. 

There are other ways to discover likely cavitation sites (screen for them).  For example, they will sometimes cause pain when the area is lightly stroked or when pressure is applied. CT scans (3D Cone Beam X-ray scans from another office or radiology center) and Thermography scans are also useful in helping find potential cavitation sites; however these are not recognized as a diagnostic devices capable of diagnosing cavitations.  Therefore, the patient must assimilate all the evidence and decide how they want to proceed with treatment.
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Use the interactive chart to learn more about each tooth's relationship with your overall health. Just click on the tooth to see which teeth and organs are on the same meridian.



COULD YOUR TEETH BE CAUSING YOU ILL HEALTH? As a Biological Dentist I believe the conditions present in a patient’s mouth are a reflection of their overall health. In accordance with ancient Chinese medicine, the mouth is a reflection of the person’s total health. Ancient Chinese physicians would examine the patient’s teeth, gums, tongue and oral cavity before they examined the rest of patient’s body. In biological dentistry, we stress the use of non-toxic restorative materials for dental work and focus on the unrecognized impact that dental toxins, dead teeth and hidden dental infections can have on the patient’s overall health. I believe tooth decay, periodontal disease, materials used in restorations, root canaled teeth and infected past extraction sites are all factors that may affect a patient’s health. A condition in one part of a patient’s body may be the cause of a health issue located in another part of the patient’s body. This condition is called Focal Infection Theory. We see Focal Infection Theory when patients are suffering from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, thyroid dysfunction, infertility, kidney dysfunction, breathing problems, cancer, digestive complications, joint pain and limited joint motion just to mention a few. This is not to say that the patient became ill as a result of their mouth problem(s) but that it may be a contributing factor.*


 


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What are the treatment options for an area diagnosed as having a cavitation?
Each patient’s treatment choice will be different depending on his/her needs and desires.  Our recommendations can range from oral surgery, ozone and laser therapy, homeopathic care or no treatment at all.  To make an informed decision regarding which is most appropriate, considerable research into each option should be done, as each option has its own set of pros and cons.
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Internet Resources about Cavitations…

Dr. Shankland is one of the premiere doctors working in the field of cavitations.  This page contains most of the material any one person will need to understand all aspects of cavitations, though there is some bias toward surgical solutions. (Click Here)
Whole Body Dentistry author Dr. Mark Breiner – Overview, Further information... Part 1, Part 2
Susan Stockton has written several books covering holistic dentistry and here she defines cavitations. 
Susan Stockton talks about cavitations and treatment priorities.
Therapuetic options involving ozone:  Whole Body Dentistry – about halfway down the page
An interview between Dr. Mercola and Dr. George Mening regarding root canals and cavitations
An interview between Laura Lee and Dr. Georg Mening regarding root canals (Part 1)         Part 2 of that Interview

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Implants:
Do you do implant procedures at your office?
We do not do implant surgery at our office.  If a patient requests this procedure we have dentists to whom we refer, and we can send him/her.  Once the implant has been placed, we can restore the implant with a crown (2nd phase of implant therapy).


Extractions:
Do you perform extractions at your office?
The majority of the time, when an extraction is needed, we will send the patient to one of the Oral Surgeons we work with.
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Snoring/Sleep Disturbance/OSB Treatment:
How do you diagnose a sleep disturbance issue?
Dentists are qualified to diagnose oral pharyngeal airway obstructions.  These obstructions can contribute to sleep disturbance, sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, or day apnea.  However, in order to diagnose a sleep disturbance, sleep apnea or even day apnea, a person must have their doctor prescribe a sleep study be performed.  Then either the doctor in charge of the sleep study program or the person’s doctor will evaluate the results from the sleep study and determine if the patient is suffering from any form of sleep disturbance.  Once a positive diagnosis has been made, the patient may request a referral for dental / oral therapies treating sleep disturbance.

In order for us to diagnose an airway obstruction issue we need specific diagnostic records along with a detail specific health history.  The records needed include but are not limited to the following:
Cephalometric x-ray:  This type of X-ray shows a side view of the head and neck, it is useful for examining the teeth in relation to the jaw and profile of the individual.
Study models/casts:  These are impressions of the upper and lower teeth, they are used to evaluate the start position of teeth and are used to create appliances.
Diagnostic Photos:  These photos help us to analyze facial imbalances, postural issues, and record the initial position of teeth.
Jaw record:  This is a wax impression of how the upper and lower teeth fit together.
More information can be found on Dr. Strauss's website

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What is the cost for treatment?
This will depend on the results of the diagnostic records, what is recommended, and what you as the patient choose.  We offer a variety of appliances, that vary in design and cost.

Will I have to wear an appliance for the rest of my life?
This will depend on the results of the diagnostic records, what is recommended and what you as the patient choose.  Remember, wearing an appliance is a small price to pay if the result is a higher quality of life.
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Whitening:
What options do you offer for whitening my teeth?
Strips, trays, pastes, lights.  It’s easy to get confused when it comes to teeth whitening products.  Due to the entertainment media, the public’s demand for bright, white teeth is more present now than ever before.  Unfortunately, ceramic-white isn’t a natural shade that occurs for most teeth.  Here’s a quick overview on the safety and efficacy of some whitening products available to you.

Pola In-Office Whitening- If your desire is movie-star teeth, the only way to attain those bright shades of white is through some sort of chemical process. The Pola In-Office Whitening is a procedure we offer at our dental office, and usually takes about 3 hours to complete.  Because all whitening chemicals can be irritating to the skin, we use barriers to protect your oral tissues during the procedure.  Pola In-Office is the strongest whitening system that we offer, and has been shown to turn teeth blank shades whiter after only 1 visit.

SmileLine Pen Home Whitening- The SmileLine we have available comes in a very convenient, pen-form that is easy to apply and handy to carry around.  This is a nice advantage over strips and trays, which can get messy and cause spilling onto gums and lips.  It is comprised of blank peroxide, which is more gentle than the harsher carbomide peroxide used in Crest White Strips. SmileLine has also been known to cause much less tooth sensitivity to cold, unlike other home whitening systems. This product offers a gradual whitening procedure, at home at your own pace.  It has been shown to turn teeth blank shades whiter after about 3 weeks of daily application.

Brite White- If your desire is for some minor “touch-ups” to your teeth, Brite White is a nice choice.  This product doesn’t contain any peroxide, but instead uses baking soda as its primary component.  (Baking soda is also the main ingredient found in several home-recipes to whiten teeth.)  Brite White comes in a paste form, and is brushed onto your teeth after your regular daily tooth brushings.  While Brite White isn’t likely to drastically improve tooth shade, it has been known to remove staining from the enamel. 

MI Paste- This product is a must-have for any whitening system you choose!  Virtually every chemical whitening procedure has the potential risk for causing tooth sensitivity to cold.  Although MI Paste is mostly used as a preventative against tooth cavities, its remineralizing properties help to reduce cold sensitivity within the enamel.  Also, it has been shown to reverse “white-spots” present on teeth caused by de-calcification.  MI Paste is easy to apply and comes in several flavors. 

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General Holistic Dentistry Links…
Here are the major organizations dedicated to supporting and educating today's Holistic Dentists
     Holistic Dental Association  - HDA
     International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology – IAOMT
     International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine - IABDM 
     Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions - DAMS
     Dental Wellness Institute


Holistic Oriented Orthodontic links…
Here are the major organizations dedicated to supporting and educating today's Holistic Dentists
     American Academy for Functional Orthodontics –AAFO
     American Academy of Gnathologic Orthopedics – AAGO
     American Association of Orthodontists – AAO


TMJ / TMD Problems…
     American Academy of Craniofacial Pain – AACFP
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