Over the past 20 years of my dental practice, my interest in holistic dentistry has grown and made an impact on thousands of patients of all ages.
After completing a traditional dental education at Northwestern University in Chicago, I had a desire to learn more about healthcare topics, nutritional supplements, and how to help patients feel their best. At that point, words like “holistic” and “biocompatible” were not common. From my undergraduate years at the University of Illinois, I had been interested in using natural foods and supplements to stay healthy. In dentistry, it made sense for me to follow a holistic approach for my practice.
My Start In Holistic Dentistry
Early in my career, I attended a seminar entitled, “Energy, Medicine and Dentistry.” It was sponsored by three well-known holistic healthcare practitioners: Dr. Doug Cook, a dentist from northern Wisconsin who I consider my mentor, Dr. Joe Mercola, an osteopath, and Dr. Thomas Stone, a physician.
That three-day seminar transformed my dental practice. It challenged my prior concepts such as using amalgams (silver fillings) as the “bread and butter” of any dental practice. Suddenly, I was informed that metal fillings are toxic, with 52% of the average amalgam being mercury, and the balance containing many other industrial metals. It was shocking.
The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
I also never realized the incredible significance between the health of the mouth and the entire body’s health. As I learned, the human body is a huge energy system. The effect of treatment and final restoration impacts people on both a physical and energetic level. It was my first exposure to a Chinese medicine approach in dentistry.
It made sense that the body, mind and spirit are all connected. I could see how a toxic substance in a tooth, such as metal, could affect an organ in another part of the body.
Since then, I’ve been committed to learning about and practicing this new approach to holistic dentistry.
Holistic Healthcare Benefits
After many years of seminars and personal training by Dr. Cook, this knowledge is fundamental to my daily practice of dentistry. I’m able to test products to make sure they are bio-compatible with a patient’s metabolism. Patients receive thorough information to make educated decisions in directing their own dental healthcare needs. Our patients know they can count on us for compassionate care.
Being a holistic dentist reflects a humanistic approach to life. My passion over the past few years has been volunteering for Causes For Change International, a nonprofit organization that provides free healthcare to children in Ecuador. My family and I have traveled into areas where natives have never had contact with healthcare providers.
It’s exhilarating to serve people in need. We work without any electricity, using flashlights to illuminate surgical sites within the mouth. In the summer of 2010, a dentist from Australia and I served over 1500 children in a week’s time. Although I’ve been acknowledged for my services, I tell people that I receive back so much more than I am able to give. It’s an honor to have the means and opportunity to participate in such a worthy healthcare mission (www.causesforchange.org).
Dentistry offers me the means to serve the most people and help in their healing. I hope to continue serving patients of all ages and backgrounds for many years to come.