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Michael C. Goldman, DDS

Philosophy of Practice..a healing environment

Whenever two people come into relationship with good intention and purpose a healing environment is created for both of them. In such a relationship the patient and doctor become equal partners helping each other toward physical and spiritual balance .

While we must work with our physical bodies, we are also free to come from a place where we acknowledge a larger existence. That shift in perspective can change the experience from that of traditional healthcare to one of working together to heal our lives while on a physical level some symptom of dis-ease is being eased.

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The above statement is, I believe, central to my thinking,  and really says it all...I include the following somewhat disjointed  thoughts to expand and clarify  specific dimensions of  how I think and feel about what I try to do...I hope it is helpful to you.

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....But to only talk about the alternative-ness  of my dental practice would  be to give the you the wrong slant on it.  We very simply  work hard to make dental care as comfortable and gentle - yes, even as pleasant   -  as  we can......

A TV is recessed  into  the  ceiling  right above you as you recline in the  treatment chair.  It can be turned off if you prefer, or as most of our patients do, you can pick from a menu of  calming... even meditative... video tapes of concerts, nature, shows, etc. (some bring a favorite of their own) You control the  sound level in your headphones.  The chair gently vibrates (or not, as you wish) for a full body relaxation  massage. 

Why do I provide this?  Is it a gimmick?  No.  The idea is  very simple and scientifically sound.  Humans  have the mixed blessing of only being able to focus our attention on one thing at a time.   So, if all there is to focus on is dental treatment...you guessed it! The whole time is only dental treatment... On the other hand if your senses are pleasantly overwhelmed with positive, pleasant sensations --.   your hearing, your seeing, as well as your body feeling  --  then your attention is continually pulled away from the  dental sensations.  So at the end of  one hour's dental treatment, you may have only focused on it for  five minutes....or maybe not at all !

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So, as much as I would like to believe a visit to the dentist (this dentist) is easy and  - fun ---- I know it's the hardest thing in the world for many people.  For others it may be fairly easy,  but for most it's somewhere in-between.  Everybody can well use a little help....and kindness.

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There surely is a lot of rhetoric out there about  what's holistic and what's not.  Basically, we all want and need to be treated with kindness.    That's a very simple idea and yet seems elusive in its application.   Trendy new techniques are not the answer...at least not by themselves.

Some of the  new and trendy ideas (like mercury-free dentistry) are gaining support as evidence mounts in their favor.  Some ideas have little evidence, but  somehow just feel intuitively right.  But application of technology - whether it's traditional western medicine or alternative care needs to be done with heart.

Otherwise all we have is technicians.   What we need is closer to the  idea of healers.  What is  best to my  thinking is a blend of the two, technician- healers.   To blend  the two is to function with the  mind and heart, rather than just mind or  heart. 

Attempting to take the best of what western and eastern approaches to life and health have to offer seems to me the paradigm that is emerging.  But it's just as easy to get puffed up and stuffy about eastern ideas as about traditional ones.   Truth always is simple.

The Dalai Lama has stated that his religion  is kindness.   I think that says everything!  So it is, to me, in my field - dentistry - that if I can treat people with simple kindness that is 95% of what's important.  The rest, the appropriate technology, will naturally flow from that mindset....

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In my practice we use a combination of traditional dentistry and alternative approaches where we can.  In some cases our belief in alternative ideas   leads us to limit or modify traditional  technique.  Some  major examples are that we do not use mercury ("silver" amalgam fillings are 50% or more mercury), and that  while I do root canal treatment, I have modified the way I do it because I think some important and very possibly legitimate  issues have been raised about traditional root canal treatment. 

You will find more detailed info about these and other topics  by clicking the "Topics/Info"   button above.

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My own training includes some basic understanding and capability in   Homeopathy and Cranial Osteopathy (Cranio-Sacral ).  I, along with two of my staff,  have been trained as Reiki practitioners.  And I  constantly learn from my patients, a large portion of whom are involved in providing  or receiving a wide range of alternative healthcare services in the Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia   area and beyond. 

IAOMT  www.iaomt.org is a great organization (International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology).  It is a network of professionals - physicians, dentists, other healthcare providers and research scientists dealing with toxicity issues ....

IAOMT Mission Statement:    "to promote the health of the public at large by examining and compiling scientific research relating to the BIOCOMPATIBILITY  of oral/dental materials to insure their informed   use in clinical practice."

PPNF  (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation) is another great organization. PPNF is all about increasing our knowledge of what's healthy and what's not.  A lot of their material deals with nutrition and also with issues of what may be toxic to humans that we come in contact with in the food we eat, as well as substances we come in contact with.  Dental materials like mercury (used in "silver" fillings) is a big issue.  Certain aspects of root canal treatment   have been questioned.  I have significant disagreement with some of what  they say but at the same time I think they provide a lot of very good helpful information.

These organizations are daring and dedicated.  What they promote flies in the face of established authorities, often placing them on the hot seat of controversy.  They are committed and believe what they say.   Time will prove them right or wrong, but much of what they say is   compelling and makes sense.  Even if they are only partially correct, they raise warning flags for us.

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One of the most satisfying experiences I have in dentistry is that of helping a dental-phobic patient turn....blossom! .... into a relaxed and self-satisfied patient and friend.

 

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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..

Bleaching, veneers, bonding, caps, bridges, and implants  are cosmetic dentistry treatments that are also  discussed in  Cosmetic Dentistry, and more...

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