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Biological Dentistry

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by Chris Edwards, DDS

August/September 2012

Combines General Dentistry, Focus On Entire Body

WHOLE-BODY, PATIENT-CENTERED FOCUS: Teeth, gums and other structures of the mouth are never isolated organs or tissues, but are an integral part of the body and often a reflection of the health of the entire body, which depends heavily upon proper diet, nutrition and lifestyle.

 

“Eighty percent of a patient’s health problems can be partially traced to the mouth.” – Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PHD

Biological Dentistry combines the techniques and artistry of general dentistry with a focus on the implications oral health has on the entire body. Teeth, gums and other structures of the mouth are never isolated organs or tissues, but are an integral part of the body and often a reflection of the health of the entire body, which depends heavily upon proper diet, nutrition and lifestyle.

Comprehensive History, Examination Imperative

The evaluation and treatment starts with a thorough examination. This includes a detailed medical and dental history and listening to the patient’s concerns. It continues with a comprehensive exam, observing the mouth with magnification, optimally through a dental microscope. A thorough evaluation of the teeth and current restorations, supporting structures, and gums and bone are recorded and evaluated for signs of inflammation.
The latest in radiographic technology, digital X-rays, minimize exposure to radiation and provide excellent anatomic resolution of teeth and bone structure of the face and jaw. Evaluation of the teeth with the Diagnodent laser cavity detector can assess caries at earlier stages.

A functional assessment to determine the health issues facing each patient continues with evaluations of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) muscles, bite and structural dental stress fractures, and an oral cancer screening and exam for other oral pathology.

Inflammation has increasingly been linked to many systemic conditions. Chronic inflammation is the enemy, and quite often, it is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can be a silent, asymptomatic, painless condition and 80% of adults have some form it. A proper assessment of the ecology of the mouth relating to the types and kinds of biofilm (plaque) and bacteria present, and the local environmental factors, like oral PH, are very important in the diagnosis and proper selection of treatment modalities.

Collaboration With Other Healthcare Professionals Is Key

After all information is gathered and processed, the diagnostic findings and treatment plan are presented to the patient. Risks, benefits, and alternatives are discussed with the patient as well as any needs for a possible consultation with other healthcare professionals.

Biological dentists work together with other healthcare practitioners helping patients to achieve better general health by improving their oral health. They recognize the individual needs of each patient in eliminating the lasting negative effects that diseases and dental materials in their mouth have on other systems of their entire body.

Innovative Technology

A biological dentist uses modern technologies such as lasers for healing and treatment purposes. Air abrasion is used for minimally invasive dentistry that retains as much of the tooth as possible. All ceramic restorations, such as CERC, computer created one-visit crowns and onlays are an example of some of the most biologically compatible restorative options.

The removal of silver amalgam fillings, which are 50% mercury, is done in the safest way, minimizing the toxic exposure to patient, dentist and staff. The protocol includes the isolation of the working area with a rubber dam. A special suction device is used to take away the mercury and harmful vapor. The patient is provided with an oxygen mask during the removal process to prevent inhalation of this vapor. The restoration is removed in as large chunks as possible to minimize vaporization of mercury during drilling. A copious amount of water is used to cool the drill and contain the amalgam dust. This reduces vapor formation.

Whole-Body, Patient-Centered Focus

A biological dentist works with other like minded health care providers to assess the compatibility of dental materials, to provide nutritional support and, if needed, to provide detoxification from damaging affects of oral toxins. Your whole health is kept in mind.

The patient is educated and coached to take responsibility of their oral health with emphasis on prevention. A whole-body patient-centered approach, which is essential in biological dentistry, ultimately results in the most cost effective way to maintain a healthy, functional mouth and teeth for life.

 

Dr. Edwards graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and Temple University School of Dentistry. He completed a general practice residency at the Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. To reach Dr. Edwards you may call 321-751-7775 or visit www.SmileDesignCenter.us