Everything seems to be ‘holistic’ these days—our diet, fitness and pet pampering—and now it has even infiltrated the world of dentistry. Holistic dental care has become a popular alternative to regular treatment, but how does it differ?
London Holistic Dental Centre prides itself on its preventative approach and aims to inspire clients to embrace this concept, rather than waiting for problems to occur before seeking help. And while mainstream dentists treat issues in isolation, tooth by tooth, the holistic way is to consider patients’ overall health and offer personalised treatment.
My appointment began with a thorough clean by hygienist Annette Kreis, whose warm and welcoming manner instantly made me feel at ease. She offered a dab of beeswax to soothe a painful cold sore in the corner of my mouth, so that I’d be able to open wide, and proceeded to use baking soda as a polisher as it has powerful antibacterial effects that benefit both teeth and gums. I knew I was in expert hands as I felt comfortable throughout the clean, which went smoothly and restored my smile from slightly tea stained to a more even shade of milky white.
While working away, Annette told me more about the holistic ethos. She explained that while we all know keeping on top of our dental hygiene is the basis of maintaining good dental health, what is not so widely known is that it is also a cornerstone of good general health. Gum problems, for example, can lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream, contributing to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The idea behind holistic dental care is to spot and prevent any general health problems linked to oral health.
I was curious to see whether the dental examination would also be alternative in some way. David Cook, the principal at London Holistic Dental Centre, specialises in aesthetic dentistry and bite problems and, unusually for a dentist, has also studied homoeopathy and integrates aspects of it into his practice.
In my case, he offered me little vials of propolis—liquidised bee resin—to take home and apply on the skin around my mouth where he treated my cold sore with laser. I was intrigued to see whether this mix of high-tech treatment and ancient healing substance would work its magic on me, and I’m happy to report that the cold sore healed after only a couple of days and, a few months later, I’ve had no further outbreaks.
Out of the dozen or so dentists I’ve seen through the years and in different countries, Dr Cook was also the first to point out that I have a tongue tie. I didn’t even know what it was, but he explained that it’s an unusually short frenulum connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth, something that is ideally spotted at birth and removed to prevent jaw and bite problems—which I have spent years trying to fix with Invisalign braces. Slightly bewildered, I couldn’t help but wonder why all my previous dentists had neglected to tell me this. Luckily, I now know who to turn to if I decide to seek further treatment.
I left the practice not just with gleaming white teeth, but with an overall sense of wellbeing. For an alternative health enthusiast like me, discovering that even dental care can be holistic has been a real eye-opener. The search for my perfect dentist is over.