Holistic Dentistry, Sydney, CBD

Holistic Dentistry, being a holistic dentist; What is a holistic dentist? Should all dentists be holistic?

With the ever increasing advertising concerning ‘holistic’ dentists, ever wonondered what are they? What is a holistic dentist? Aren’t all dentists holistic?

What is it?

Should all good dentists be holisitc?

Why is it now a misunderstood catch phrase?

The team at MLC Centre Dental Surgery, Sydney CBD, have always felt that being a good dentist is being a ‘holistic’ dentist.

Deffinition of ‘ holistic ‘;


[ hō lístik ]

  1. analyzing whole system of beliefs: characterized by the view that a whole system of beliefs must be analyzed rather than simply its individual components
  2. considering all factors when treating illness: taking into account all of somebody’s physical, mental, and social conditions in the treatment of illness

Synonyms: all-inclusive, rounded, full, complete, general, universal, whole

Therefore we at the MLC Centre Dental Surgery, Sydney CBD, are ‘holisitc‘ we diagnose the whole system rather than simply it’s individual components.  Dentists shouldn’t just be about the teeth but rather the whole oral enviroment and what other issues are patients having that are causing oral problems, or what signs and symptoms do they have orally which indicate there may be a more significant medical issue that needs addressing.

The services we provide at the MLC Centre Dental Surgery, Sydney CBD,  when taking a ‘holisitc’ approach are;

1.  How are the teeth, this is the basic dentistry 101, decayed, fractured and heavily worn teeth.

2.  Periodontal (gum) conditions, oral hygiene regimes, hygiene visit and possible more involved gum treatment to heal the supportive structures of the teeth, and then education on home maintenance.

3.  Doing oral cancer checks, do we need biopsies done or fuether investigation of tissue issues.

4. Asking questions about respiratory issues just incase you have sleep apnoea (where you stop breathing whilst sleeping), if you grind your teeth is this related to tension or sleep apnoea. Do you need a sleep study, do you need an oral applaince to help you breath at night, or a CPAP machine, or do you just grind your teeth.

5. Checking size and shape of throat, size of tonsils if present.  The size and shape of your throat and amount of soft tissue present plays a role in the possibility of having sleep apnoea.

6. Are there any cosmetic concerns, are there any gaps, crowding, discoloured or broken teeth the patient wants corrected.

7.  Do you need or want orthodonitcs.

8. What are your overall treatment options for any type of dental work you need.

9.  Are you on any medications  or what medical conditions do you have, what medical procedures are you going to have done, how are these issues going to impact on the oral environment, should we be doing some preplanning, some education, speaking with your specialist teams, (especially with radiotherapy of the head and neck and chemotherapy treatment). Is the patient suffering from a condition that makes them immunocompromised.  Unfortunately with our ever increasing aging population we also have an ever increasing medicated population.  Alot of medications effect the oral environment the biggest issue is hyposalivation (reduced saliva flow, dry mouth), this is generally easily managed and the effects can be easily controlled and the oral environment can be made more comfortable for patients, but your dentist needs to be aware of these issues and think about them.

10. Using materials that have been proven to be the most  biologically biocompatible materials available today. Heavily tested, TGA (Therapeautic Goods Administration) approved, and proven over long periods of time to be safe for human use.

11. Following Australian guidlines for the removal of metal fillings and replacing them with appropriate material. Composite materials which are often used for repalcements of large amalgams, just don’t last, ceramic materials really should be used or crowns.

So lets review the initial questions;

What is it?

In my opinion it is being a good quality dentist who  analyses the whole system rather than simply it’s individual components.

Should all good dentists be holisitc?

Yes, but unfortunately not all are.  It takes many hours of extra training and interest to learn about how other aspects of human physiology effect the oral environment and also how the oral environment can have an impact on the overall human physiology.

Why ‘holistic’ now a misunderstood catch phrase?

I beleive it is because it has been associated for too long with alternate types of treatment modalities for example chinese medicine, accupuncture, herbalists and naturopaths.  If we actually look at the deffinition of holisitc, any good quality, well trained medical practitioner, dentist or allied health care provider should be holisitc.



Dr Adam Alford graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 2000 with honours. Dr Alford has worked extensively in Cosmetic and Implant Dental practices in Australia and the UK. He has a special interest in, general dentistry, preventative dentistry, children’s dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, tooth whitening and orthodontics. Dr Alford is the author of the article and he maintains a General Dental, Cosmetic and Implant Dental Surgery in the Sydney CBD,  http://www.adamalford.com.au . Webmasters are free to reprint this article provided that it is not edited, the authors information is included, and the links are included as live links. .

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