Holistic health and healing has been defined as the consideration of health in the light of all factors – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Unfortunately no one is that transcendant or that smart, and this beautiful ideal has to be tempered by practical realities.
We can define holistic dentistry by layers of realistic principles:
The first principle is to be the best, most up-to-date dentists we can be. We have to know our business and do the basics properly, because we can’t mask poor quality dentistry with “holistic” mumbo-jumbo.
The second principle is to always choose the safest, least toxic way to achieve good results and effective treatments. For example, long ago we chose to quit using mercury fillings because of the inherent toxicity, and we became experts in composite fillings instead. The result has been a track record of well restored teeth with vastly reduced toxicity.
The third principle is to bring in lessons from allied fields of healing arts. Information and techniques from osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, oriental medicine, and western medicine, etc., can be very relevant, and can greatly augment the effectiveness of dental treatment. The more tools we have, the more likely it is we’ll find a solution to a given problem. “Holistic” can mean using the whole tool box.
A fourth principle is inclusiveness and communication. We don’t see ourselves as Doctor Gods, performing a healing event upon a passive patient. We are all in this together, making choices and understanding how our work fits in to our lives and health.