Patients looking for the best dental care available have probably heard of holistic dentists. Holistic dentistry is a more rounded approach to oral healthcare, but it’s also developed a reputation for being expensive.
Is holistic dentistry more expensive than traditional treatments? Budget-conscious patients will be pleasantly surprised to learn that proper holistic dental care can actually cost less than traditional dental treatments over the long term. Read on to find out how.
What is a holistic approach to dentistry?
Holistic dentists, also called biological dentists or biologic dentists, go to dental school and have the same degree as traditional dentists: either a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree, which are essentially interchangeable.
Their approach to dental health sets biological dentists apart from general dentists. Biological dentists understand that the mouth is part of the whole body and that dental health and overall health are intertwined.
You can’t have good oral health without body health, and vice versa. The holistic approach also saves as much of the patient’s natural teeth as possible. There’s less of the “drilling and filling” approach to treating tooth decay or pulling teeth.
Instead, holistic dentists follow an integrative approach and focus on the restoration of the natural tooth structure.
Biological dentists carefully choose biocompatible materials that mimic the tooth’s natural properties when fillings, crowns, or implants are needed. These nontoxic materials last longer and won’t leach dangerous chemicals into the patient’s body.
What is the difference between a regular dentist and a holistic dentist? The difference between a regular dentist and a holistic dentist is how they approach treating oral health problems. Holistic dentists generally use less invasive procedures and nontoxic materials.
What are the benefits of holistic dentistry? The benefits of holistic dentistry are keeping more natural tooth tissue, using longer-lasting, nontoxic materials, and improved overall health by improving oral health.
Typical Costs For Holistic Dentistry
Holistic dentistry has received an undeserved reputation for being expensive. It’s true that some biomimetic materials are more expensive than traditional materials. They last longer, however, and lead to better health outcomes.
For example, the traditional approach to filling cavities uses a dental amalgam that contains mercury, a toxic material. The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains that these fillings are safe, but we continue to treat patients who have experienced harmful effects.
Biological dentists use nontoxic, biomimetic composite or glass ionomer materials to fill cavities. Many traditional dentists use these materials, too, because they’re safer and more esthetically pleasing.
Here are some of the average costs of using a holistic dentist for typical dental procedures:
- Fillings: $150-$900
- Crowns: $600-$2700, depending on the material used
- Dental implants: $2000-$6000 per tooth, or $12500-$25000 per arch
Most holistic dentists take health insurance, but patients should always ask if their dentist takes their insurance, and ask for a breakdown of the estimated costs of a procedure before having it done.
What is the average price for a holistic dentist? The average price for a holistic dentist is slightly more than the average price of a traditional dentist. This is because but they use more biocompatible materials, and their fillings, crowns, and other treatments generally last longer.
When you look at the overall cost of oral healthcare, biological dentistry can actually be less expensive. That’s because biological dentists use less invasive and more conservative treatment plans, which keeps costs low over a patient’s lifetime.
Traditional dentists usually prescribe a filling at the first sign of any tooth decay. The filling lasts for 5 or 10 years on average, or perhaps less if the dentist doesn’t place the filling properly. Sooner or later, it needs to be replaced.
When the filling is replaced, the dentist goes in and removes even more tooth tissue, which increases the risk of the tooth cracking or bacteria making their way into the tooth root. When that happens, the patient needs a pricey root canal and a crown.
There’s no guarantee a root canal therapy will ultimately solve the problem, either. Root canal treatment can fail, and the dentist may need to extract the tooth despite all of the money and effort to save it.
All of these procedures add up over a lifetime, which can mean paying well over $10000 to care for a tooth that gets extracted in the end. Most patients would prefer to save their money, pay for a better quality filling in the first place, and save themselves the pain of the extra procedures.
Common Treatment Methods
Biological dentists perform the same significant procedures as traditional dentists, but they often use different materials or methods to perform those procedures.
Do holistic dentists do fillings? Yes, holistic dentists perform fillings, but they don’t use dental amalgam for fillings (also called mercury fillings, amalgam fillings, or silver fillings). Instead, they use a mercury-free composite filling material for dental restorations and fillings.
First and foremost, biological dentists work to prevent tooth decay from getting bad enough that a tooth needs a filling. It’s also common for them to use lasers instead of traditional drilling, which prevent trauma and pain, allow for quicker healing, and remove less healthy enamel.
Beyond fillings, these dentists work to find and address the root cause behind the weakened enamel. Their focus is on preventing further decay. Holistic dentists will also work on remineralizing the weakened enamel if that option is available.
Biological dentists’ primary focus for preventing decay includes a diet of whole foods, supporting airway health, and oral hygiene techniques, like brushing with hydroxyapatite toothpaste and flossing regularly.
Holistic and biological dentists also avoid using fluoride toothpaste and treatments because of fluoride’s dangerous effects.
Do holistic dentists do crowns and bridges? Yes, holistic dentists perform crowns and bridges when needed while maintaining as much of the tooth’s natural structure as possible. They will use nontoxic materials such as ceramic or resin composite crowns and ozone to clean the area.
These materials are better for the patient’s health and often last longer.
At Rejuvenation Dentistry, our biological dentists use ceramic materials for crowns and bridges. They last longer than other materials, they’re nontoxic, and we can manufacture them in-house. We also offer implant-supported bridges that don’t weaken and damage neighboring teeth.
How do holistic dentists treat root canals? Holistic dentists treat root canals by avoiding them when possible and cleaning out the canals with nontoxic ozone when a root canal is necessary. They will also use lasers in many cases to cause minimal damage to the tooth’s structure.
However, many holistic and biologic dentists prefer to simply extract the tooth and use an implant, as most root canals can become re-infected after time has passed.
Traditional dentists usually use titanium dental implants, but many patients have a metal sensitivity. Holistic dentists use biocompatible zirconia implants, which fuse better with the jaw and don’t cause allergic reactions.
Biological dentists also treat gum disease using the least invasive, least toxic options available. Their first line of defense is often ozone therapy, which helps kill pathogenic bacteria that harm the gums and cause inflammation.
If the patient requires surgery, many holistic dentists turn to laser dentistry. Patients heal faster and feel less pain when surgeries are performed with lasers instead of traditional scalpels. Lasers can even be used to treat dental cavitations associated with gum disease.
Biological dentists want their patients to have a healthy, beautiful smile. In addition to avoiding silver fillings, they offer nontoxic, cutting-edge treatments to give their clients ideal smiles, such as invisible braces, veneers, and tooth whitening.
Holistic dentists use x-rays to examine the teeth and jaws when needed, but they use machines that give off only very low doses of radiation, like digital x-rays.
The mouth can remineralize weakened parts of the teeth naturally, but not without the proper nutrients. Treatment of some dental issues may require better nutrition or supplements to support oral health.
Advantages Of Biological Dentistry
Biological dentistry varies from traditional dentistry in several ways. The best advantages of biological dentistry include:
- Avoiding costly procedures like root canals whenever possible
- Avoiding the use of toxic materials that will need to be removed later at the patient’s expense (financially and medically)
- Preservation of more healthy tooth tissue, reducing the chance that the patient will need expensive crowns, root canals, and other treatments
- Oral health care to keep teeth strong and healthy in the first place, eliminating the need for expensive, painful dental procedures
- Better oral health and overall health by recognizing and nurturing the strong link between the mouth and the body
Many traditional dentists only treat problems once they arise. However, biologic dentists like Rejuvenation Dentistry offer preventative dentistry services to stop decay or gum issues before they cause significant damage. This can save the patient time and money.
Do holistic dentists pull teeth? Holistic dentists do not pull teeth unless it’s absolutely necessary. Holistic dentists will do everything they can to save as much natural tooth structure as possible. They only pull teeth as a last resort.
Are holistic dentists worth it? Yes, holistic dentists are worth it because they keep patients’ teeth healthier by addressing underlying oral health issues. This rounded approach to dentistry can eliminate the need for expensive, painful dental procedures.
Better results for your wallet and your health.
If you don’t want to get stuck in a loop of drilling and filling that leads to tooth damage and root canals, you need a biological dentist. The holistic approach will save you money over the long term when you avoid thousands of dollars of dental procedures over your lifetime.
Find the best biological dentists in the country here at Rejuvenation Dentistry. Set up an appointment at our dental offices in Manhattan or East Hampton to experience the difference that working with a biological dentist can make for your oral health.
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- Deb, S., & Chana, S. (2015). Biomaterials in Relation to Dentistry. Frontiers of Oral Biology, 17, 1–12. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26201271/
- Luke, A. M., Mathew, S., Altawash, M. M., & Madan, B. M. (2019). Lasers: A review with their applications in oral medicine. Journal of lasers in medical sciences, 10(4), 324. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6885906/