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How Can I Find a (Holistically oriented) Dentist?
How Can I Find a Good (Holistically oriented) Dentist?
This is another favorite question people ask me. Which dentists provide the kinds of things recommended in "holistically oriented" articles and websites? Do I just phone around? Or is there a better way? I know it's hard changing dentists or finding a new dentist . It can feel like such a "blind item". Here are some ideas that may be helpful for you. I hope so!
There's a list of resources at the end of this article.
Fortunately there are a number of organizations and groups, formal and informal, that are interested in promoting ideas like the possible problems with mercury-containing amalgam (silver) fillings and other materials normally used in contemporary dentistry. There are groups promoting healthy lifestyles in many ways and sometimes dentistry, as it is usually done, is thought to impact it negatively. Such groups are eager to know about and promote dentists that practice in a way that is thought to be supportive of that groups goals and mission statements. I'll provide a list of helpful groups at the end of this virtual pamphlet.
Such groups / organizations will have a list of known dentists that claim to adhere to practice policies congruent to that group's goals. Such lists are often generated by word-of-mouth by patients that notify that group or by the dentist notifying the group or subscribing to its newsletters or attending lectures etc. Often, however, such lists are little more than paid-for advertizing, in which the dentist pays to be included on the list..... you pay the money and you're on the list, period! There is normally no checking up on the dentist to see what he or she actually does or how it is done or how well it is done by the providers of the lists. It's just a list, but it can be a help to narrow down your search that you can start your search from.
Moreover, each different group will have different names on their lists. There will be many names that will reappear on all or most of the lists and some only on perhaps one of them. Don't rule that one out, especially if you like what that group stands for and talks about. Look for dentists geographically well located for you as a starting point.
Call the office and try to engage the receptionist that answers the phone. The amount of energy she is willing to give you over the phone realistically probably is some indication of how you will be treated...at least in terms of how well you will be received as an individual person, rather than just another patient.
The owner/employer/dentist sets the tone and hires and instructs the receptionist as to how to handle phone calls. The phone person could just be having a bad hair day, of course, or it could be one of those busy moments with three patients standing in front of her trying to get their bills and appointments straightened out and all the while late to get to work themselves. So you might want to call at least another time for more information and see if it's the same routine. If it is, you may have a pretty accurate picture of the office!
The office should be open about general information regarding appointments, general fees, and be able to provide you with helpful information related to your dental questions. Perhaps if the receptionist can't answer your question, the dentist will, either at that time or with a call back to you when he/she has time. I do.
Don't be intimidated! Better yet, if you feel intimidated, you should probably look elsewhere. It may be a good office but the "chemistry" is wrong for you. Energetically, it may be the wrong place for you....
If you are still not sure after checking around and speaking to the receptionist and perhaps other office personnel, you can do one or both of the following minimum-commitment things:
1.You can just visit the office.
You'll get a chance to look around - snoop a little - and talk to someone live. Is the office clean? Does it smell ok? How do the sounds of the equipment and the voices make you feel? Is there music? Is it rock, classical, new age, up-beat, boring, nothing....what? How do you feel there? Do you relate to the people you see there...socially, culturally, economically, spiritually ?
2. Make an appointment for a Consultation only.
You'll get to meet the doc and his assistant as well as the receptionist. You'll be in the treatment room....check it out! He or she will look around your mouth . Was the dentist gentle and centered on you? Or was he hurried to do you as quick as he could so he could run down the hall to the next ...more important procedure? Did he just stick a mirror in your mouth or did he take the time and energy and interest to get to know you and connect energetically with you first? Did it seem canned or a sincere effort? You're checking him or her out just as much as the other way around, remember that! And ask questions. The dentist will not give you a whole lot of time "just for a consult" but you should feel at the end that you got some useful information and insight into what your dental needs are. Preferably you might feel a little more educated and aware, and maybe even desirous of some things you weren't thinking of when you came in.
At that point you should have a pretty good feel for the dentist, staff, and practice.
A word or so of caution!
Just because the dentist says he's holistically oriented, or just because he's on someone's list, or just because he scared the hell out of you that you better do this or that right now or else something awful will happen to you for sure, or because he is so sure this or that problem that no other doctor has been able to help you with just must be caused by some dental malady which only he knows how to fix...
Just because he/she's so-o-o wonderful.... is no guarantee he's not a... jerk...!!!! or worse....!
So here's my word of advice...Keep your common sense in tact! Keep your intuition working and listen...listen to it carefully. And there's no reason someone you trust and respect can't come with you - even be in the room during the consultation examination and discussion. Your advocate may be able to be more objective than you in what is for many of us an emotionally charged situation.
Here are some resources that may be able to help you with some names to begin your process:
NOTICE: I do not personally endorse any of the following organizations. If you are reading this website it is most likely because you are confused about mercury toxicity and other related issues and trying to understand them better. The following resources are offered for your reading because they exist and each has something to say on the issues. What they have to say, however, may or may not be factually correct. There is science on both sides of the issues, and until the science is clear one way or the other you can only educate yourself as best you can and then go with your own intelligence and intuition.
DAMS Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome
This is a lay ( regular people, not professionals) that have had medical problems that they thought MIGHT be related to mercury. It is essentially a lay "blog" where regular folks, like you, talk about their experiences with amalgam placement or removal. They network and spread the word about their experiences and put out a very nice newsletter with stories, articles and information.
They have "chapters" in most but not all states in the USA, and several other countries (outside the US). The main office is:
NBCC Exec. Director ph: 800-311-6265
POBox 64397 fax:757-721-2668
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
IAOMT International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
This is an organization made up mostly of dentists but also of physicians, researchers and other professionals in healthcare and related fields. It's goals relate to increasing knowledge about the safety or danger of materials used in dental treatment. Where it stands out from the crowd is that it doesn't accept every "new age" idea that comes down the pike automatically. It looks to find scientific support for the ideas it endorses. Often, however, the scientific research it looks at favorably is the same research established dentistry puts down as meaningless. That's just the state of the situation at this time. Lots of egos and politics and bucks..... as well as sincerely deeply held beliefs make for a very confusing time in healthcare generally, and dentistry specifically. Many members in USA and internationally.
20 York Mills Rd Suite 202 ph: 1-416-225-4169
North York fax: 1-416-225-7648
Ontario, Canada M2P 2C2
FTFD Foundation for Toxic-Free Dentistry
Somewhat similar to IAOMT.
Box 608010 Send a self-addressed, stamped #10
Orlando, FL 32860 envelope, please
PPNF Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation
A committed and serious group dedicated to the turn-of-the-century extraordinary work of Drs. Price and Pottenger dealing with focal infection, nutrition, toxicities and more. Several issues relate to dentistry and root canal treatment specifically. I have serious disagreements with some of their ideas but still, they are very sincere and have many helpful things to say.
POBox 2614 ph:619-574-7763
La Mesa, CA 91943-2614 fax: 619-574-1314
CFMR (Canadians For Mercury Relief)
CMFR is a motivated group seeking to promote and disseminate information about the potential problems related to mercury use in dentistry. News about its activities and views as well as a promised listing of mercury-free dentists (with some helpful supplementary info) should be available at website http://www.talkinternational.com
These organizations will lead you to other related ones.
Good luck and Happy Hunting! But remember to take any and all of it "with a grain of salt", as they say! And a good dose of Common Sense and your own intuition.
HOME TOPICS / INFO ABOUT DR.GOLDMAN TO EMAIL ME CONTACT OFFICE
Michael Goldman DDS
3815 East-West Highway
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
More info about the following is available if you select "topics".
Holism in dentistry is an approach to dental treatment, primarily caring for patients' health and safety from both a conventional as well as "alternative healthcare" point of view. It is sometimes called "biological" dentistry or "biocompatible" dentistry. In it's fullest sense, I believe it acknowledges and deals with the mind, body and spirit of the patient, not just his or her "teeth". See Topics / Info.....
Cosmetic dentistry is about doing quality , esthetic dentistry in a way that looks natural to begin with, and furthermore, can even improve one's attractiveness through techniques such as bonding, bleaching, veneers, caps, implants and more. It can be like "instant orthodontics" in correcting crooked, twisted or misplaced teeth in many instances. Dark or misshapen teeth can be restored. Smiles that lack youthful vigor or beauty can be revitalized! See Topics / Info..
leaching, veneers, bonding, caps, bridges, and implants are cosmetic dentistry treatments that are also discussed in Cosmetic Dentistry, and more...located in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 area near Washington DC.