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February 15, 2015  | by Dr. Benjamin Farrow

What is Holistic Dentistry?

What is Holistic Dentistry?

Many people that we have met in the last six months, including those that visited us at the Isthmus Green Day, have asked us if our office practices “holistic dentistry.”

When I ask what holistic dentistry means to them, many mention materials that should or should not be used in the mouth, adherence to principles of integrative and complementary medicine, and openness to alternatives to conventional treatment. When looking around, it has been difficult to find either a concise or a comprehensive definition of “holistic dentistry.”

To me, a holistic approach is less about what we do or don’t do and more about how we understand the connection between our oral health and the rest of lives. Our dental team is committed to a form of whole person dentistry that is uniquely tailored to the individual.

In dentistry more than ever, we understand how the mouth is connected to the rest of the body. The delicate balance in the blood that is disrupted in diabetes has a strong two-way connection with the heath of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. The signals that are sent when the same gums and bone are damaged have been shown to increase the risk of heart problems including stroke and heart attack.

What’s more, our diet determines the balance in our mouth including pH and bacterial cultures. These environments not only affect the teeth and gums but are are contagious to other people including babies.

We believe that our holistic approach at Monroe Street Family dental lies in the goal of empowering each individual’s own ability to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. This is a small, but well-integrated part of complete well-being that can be cultivated through self-awareness, prevention, and teamwork.

The American Holistic Medical Association has outlined several principles that I believe that all health care providers can aspire to. Now is the time to take the challenge of maintaining an holistic dental philosophy* that celebrates:

Optimal Health

The Healing Power of Love.

Whole Person

Prevention and Treatment

Innate Healing Power

Integration of Healing Systems

Relationship-centered Care


Teaching by Example

Learning Opportunities

*principles of the AHMA

We hope that you will check out future newsletters for reflections on some of these principles and how you can partner with is in your dental care.