Growing up in a blue-collar family and going to work at the age of 13, I soon realized that not all expensive things were better, and not all things considered better had to be expensive. I have tried to incorporate this philosophy into my dental practice over the past 34 years.
When I first started practicing “holistically” decades ago, I did it because it aligned with what I felt health care for people should be. I believe incorporating the core principles of medicine and dentistry into a model of treating the person, not a body part, is very important. When I first moved in this direction, I was mocked by my colleagues. But believing I was doing the right thing, I continued to evolve and grow my practice despite their negative comments. Over the years as “holistic” became more of a buzzword, many dentists tried to label themselves in that arena. But the problem was they were doing it for the marketing, but it was not a part of their practice philosophy. So what good is getting a non-mercury filling if other aspects of health are not integrated into treatment? I have seen way too many patients with a mouth full of white fillings who suffer from TMJ, headaches, periodontal disease, and other issues. They had gone to a “holistic” dentist.
The reason for this is that I believe it is the philosophy of a holistic approach to dentistry that drives the treatment. It is not about individual unrelated procedures or just the materials used. It’s about quality of life, not just the quality of teeth. It’s about doing the right thing for that individual, not taking a cookie-cutter approach to treatment. What is appropriate for one person may not be for another. I’ll continue on this path as it has served my patients well.