Change is hard for most people and it’s not really a mystery why. Everyone is comfortable with what is familiar, and moving out of that comfort zone is scary. That’s fine and understandable, but without change, there is no innovation, we don’t move forward, and nothing ever gets better. Fear of change is the main reason no one even gives holistic dentistry a second thought. Existing dental practices have been just fine for millions of people, it’s hard to see any reason to do anything different. However, there is a huge difference between holistic and conventional dental practices, and it is important that you understand those differences before dismissing holistic dentistry.
One of the biggest differences between holistic and conventional dentistry is the use of mercury. While many dentists are shifting to alternative materials, many conventional dentists still use mercury, while holistic dentists, by definition, do not. It may not seem like that big of a difference, until you realize that mercury is considered a highly toxic substance that has been banned from nearly every workplace except dental offices. Mercury thermometers are all but obsolete now, and breaking one in a medical setting is handled in such a way as to all but eliminate any risk of coming into contact with even the smallest amount of the substance. Yet, many conventional dentists continue to regularly place large chunks of mercury into patients’ mouths. Holistic dentists, out of concern for patient health, seek out filling materials without mercury. At one time, the alternatives were less durable, harder to work with, and more expensive than mercury, but dental advances have made great strides at changing this.
Another big difference between holistic and conventional dentists is their impact on the environment. Traditional dentists, even those who have stopped placing mercury fillings, often dispose of removed mercury fillings in a way that the mercury makes its way into the groundwater and the air. Holistic dentists go to great lengths to ensure mercury from removed fillings is contained until it can be safely disposed of so that it does not pollute the air or the groundwater. In short, holistic dentists are not just concerned about the health of your teeth, they’re concerned about your overall health and the health of the environment as well.