Holistic Dentistry in the Dental Clinic Herne
The term dentistry is often used as a comprehensive synonym for oral and maxillofacial dentistry. Detecting, treating and, at best, avoiding diseases of the teeth, jaw and mouth – that is what most people understand about dentistry. Of course, the Dental Clinic Herne also offers dental treatments in this classic sense – but with an extended, holistic perspective. But what difference does the holistic aspect make in dentistry? In other words:
What does “holistic dentistry” actually mean??
Like any other dentist’s practice or dental clinic, ZPK Herne cares about filling holes in teeth, treating inflamed gums or providing dental care to a tooth gap. However, we do this by knowing that the human chewing system – consisting of teeth, gums, retaining fibers, jaw bones, temporomandibular joints, jaw and jaw muscles, and other tissues – is in close contact with other areas of the body via functional chains. Against this background it is understandable that a dental disease can have far-reaching health consequences for the entire organism – and of course vice versa. The recognition that the human body is a functional unit of its individual components and that man is more than his body makes, in our view, a rethinking in dentistry and completely new therapeutic approaches necessary.
We would like to illustrate this way of thinking with the image of dominoes standing in a circle. If you only hit one of the dominoes – no matter which position in the circle – a chain reaction is created that brings down all dominoes. If you want to restore the circle, all the stones have to be put back in place, not just the one you started earlier. Transferred to dentistry, this results in the claim for the dental clinic to treat dental diseases integratively. This means that we not only “fight” obvious, obvious symptoms, but also want to restore the balance of the “human” system.
Anamnesis – a look over the dental plate
As holistic thinking and acting dentists of the dental clinic Herne, we have a great knowledge about the connections and functioning of the human body. But we must only treat diseases that fall into our field of expertise – dentistry. In order to be able to fully meet the high demands of holistic dentistry, we allow a great deal of space for the patient’s medical history, that is, the detailed questioning of our patients regarding their current state of health and their medical history. This is about more than just a few standard questions. Instead, we would like to get a comprehensive picture of the individual situation of our patients. The answers to our questions enable us:
- to establish a possible systemic connection of the dental diseases diagnosed by us with other diseases of the body
- to develop an integrative treatment concept involving medical professionals and therapists from other disciplines.
In the sense of holistic-integrative therapy concepts, Zahnklinik Herne works closely with orthopedists, osteopaths, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, physiotherapists, neurologists and psychotherapists.
The connection between dental disease, chronic pain & general diseases
Sometimes, chronic pain and general conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are closely related to dental diseases. A holistic treatment in the dental clinic Herne can therefore not be limited to dental interventions, but requires a comprehensive treatment plan. The following list should give you a first insight into the need for holistic, integrative therapy concepts:
Diagnosis Dentistry & possible systemic connection with other diseases
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (CMD)
- Pain in the temporomandibular joints due to stress-induced nocturnal teeth grinding
- Tensions in the chewing, jaw and facial muscles
- exposed cervicals
- tooth abrasion
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty closing the mouth
- inaccurate clash of teeth
- Sensitivity disorders on teeth, lips and mouth
Examples of other diseases
- Tension in the neck, neck and back muscles
- hip pain
- Headache migraine
- Numbness and sensory disorders
Incompatibility of amalgam
- burning tongue
- frequent gingivitis
- frequent oral mucosal defects (eg, aphthae)
Examples of other diseases
- lack of concentration
- unexplained pain in the muscles
- rheumatic complaints
- Hypersensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract
- frequent infections
- Periodontitis, for example with:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum swelling
- deep gum pockets
- loose teeth
Examples of other diseases
- general weakness and fatigue
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attack
- Diabetes mellitus
- kidney disease
- eye diseases
- rheumatic complaints
- joint pain
- Tendency to miscarriage / premature birth
Biocompatible materials in holistic dentistry
Dentistry is one of the medical disciplines that work a lot with foreign materials. Not exactly beneficial given the general increase in allergies and intolerances. Some of the materials still commonly used in dentistry are suspected of causing certain diseases. Not surprisingly, these materials are in the mouth, releasing their constituents into the body and into the bloodstream.
For this reason, the dental clinic Herne pays attention in the sense of holistic dentistry to use only particularly biocompatible materials. Whenever possible, we work metal-free and use ceramic supplies instead. As metal alternatives for dental prostheses come full ceramic, pressed ceramic or modern milling ceramics based on zirconium oxide (zirconium) in question. Zirconia is a biocompatible ceramic material that is well tolerated by the body. Zirconia can be used to produce inlays, onlays, overlays, partial crowns, crowns, smaller dental bridges, as well as implant accessories. The Dental Clinic Herne often uses the innovative CAD – CAM procedure for the production, which enables the realization of dental restorations and dentures in just one day.
Amalgam is basically no longer used in the dental clinic Herne.
Metal allergy and titanium implants
In implantology, dental implants made of pure titanium have been used for a long time. Long-term studies have shown that pure titanium is very well received by the body. In other words: Hardly anybody reacts to Titan “allergic”. If you nevertheless believe that you are suffering from a titanium intolerance, you may want to perform a “titanium stimulation test” to refute or verify this assumption.
Although we believe titanium to be a good, tolerable material, we do not rely on it alone, but instead offer our patients all-ceramic implants as an alternative. Ceramic implants are of excellent compatibility and grow very quickly in the bone.
Metal alloys: possible allergy triggers
Metal alloys, ie mixtures of different metals, are often used to make frameworks for crowns and bridges. Due to their stability, they are often the only alternative for specific prosthetic restorations. Here we make sure to use only a single metal alloy (for example, chromium-cobalt-molybdenum), whose individual compatibility we can determine with the help of certain tests beforehand.
Profound diagnostics and minimally invasive treatments
Holistic dentistry can not claim to have an eye on the whole person without at the same time thinking of the “how” of the treatment. Gentle, “minimally invasive” treatment methods without pain, therefore, always have priority with us. On the one hand, it requires extensive knowledge in the application of these methods, and on the other extensive diagnostics.
A holistic dental diagnosis not only maps diseases and defects of teeth, gums, temporomandibular joints and jaw bones in their large systemic context, but also penetrates into the “microcosm” of the masticatory system.
This “microscopic” view is made possible by the very modern, extremely low-radiation 3D X-ray diagnostics, as we have been using for a long time in the dental clinic Herne. 3D X-ray images depict the chewing organ with all its fine and sensitive structures. Nerve courses, blood vessels, maxillary sinuses and the jawbone are displayed in high resolution and can be zoomed and measured on the computer screen.
Among other things, 3D diagnostics helped implantology make a quantum leap by enabling the planning of ideal implant positions prior to oral surgery. Thanks to the so-called “computer-navigated implantology”, dental implants can now be set to be minimally invasive – safely, painlessly and with predictable results.
Further focal points of minimally invasive holistic dentistry at the Dental Clinic Herne are laser and ozone treatments as well as ultrasound surgery (piezosurgery) for gentle bone processing. Especially in periodontology and endodontics, we rely on microsurgery with its particularly fine instruments.
In holistic dentistry, dental fear is allowed
It is part of man’s nature to be able to feel pain and anxiety. To treat a person in the sense of holistic dentistry means to empathize with the fears and worries of the patient out of deep compassion and understanding. The consultation of anxiety patients – whether adults or children – therefore occupies a large space in the ZPK Herne.
To offer our patients a treatment under general anesthesia, analgesic sedation or nitrous oxide sedation by an experienced anesthetist seemed logical to us in the context of holistic oriented dentistry. And because even anesthesia can sometimes scare you out of dental anxiety, we also open up to alternative methods of sedation, such as hypnosis.
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