Integrative dentistry crosses the borders of conventional dentistry in order to integrate your oral-health into your overall body health, it makes systemic connections in order to prevent and facilitate recovery from different systemic diseases, then finally restores the function (of your oral cavity) while following biology. In a sense you may say it stands at the crossroads of functional, biological and cosmetic dentistry, integrating them in the total body health.
There is a dramatic shift in dentistry today, one that is centered around the amazing discovery that teeth are actually part of the human body. It may sound unrealistic but when you learn about fillings or crowns, implants and bone grafts, as being class II medical devices attached to your teeth or jawbone there is a natural disconnect that takes place, one that indirectly supports the idea that whatever you put in the mouth, as long as you are able to chew properly, does not significantly affect your overall health.
Integrative dentistry does not mean holistic, natural or alternative but rather scientifically based and evidence driven dentistry. By combining function with biology and aesthetics, we address the root causes of your dental problems, not just treat acute problems like pain, cracked teeth, decay or inflammation.
The Oral-Systemic Health Connection
In most cases patients come in our office with an acute problem, but understanding airways, sleep, bruxism, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint), muscles, occlusion, the oral systemic connection, functional-aesthetics, biocompatibility of materials etc. and the connection between all these, gives us the chance to significantly improve our patients quality of life and the ability to address the most challenging cases that involve significant dental work.
Fact is that every dentist is an airways or sleep doctor, every dentist is a TMJ therapist and he is doing oral systemic connections whether he knows it or not. Your dentist is an airway architect and whatever work he does in your mouth will impact your overall health, he may see conditions and prevent diseases even
before acute symptoms show up, better make sure he has the expertise and knowledge to incorporate all that in your dental treatments. One way or the other he will!
How We Help Our Patients Understand and Improve Their Oral Health?
Here is how we incorporate all that in your care, how we measure and evaluate our patients condition in order to develop their treatment plan:
We start with 3xB, which stands for:
(B) Bacteria (Inflammation and Infection)
(B) Body (The oral-systemic connection)
(B) Biology (Biocompatibility of dental materials)
We continue with SOS:
(S) Sleep, airways and breathing.
(O) Functional occlusion (from TMJ to smile design)
(S) Structure (decay, damaged teeth, missing teeth, tooth wear, etc.)
We finish with aesthetics by identifying any concerns our patients have related to the appearance of their teeth. This includes: color, contours, shape, arrangement, etc.
While each patient comes to our office with her specific goals and concerns and her problems dictate a highly individualized treatment plan, still the above mentioned structure is very representative. When your house is burning (focal infections, decay, periodontal disease, systemic health problems, amalgam fillings and other metals in your mouth) you need to first address that as an urgency (BBB), then you can sit down and begin re-building the structure of your house (address missing teeth, wear, damaged teeth) but in a way that considers function as a guiding principle (SOS), addresses sleep and TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) issues, to finally meet aesthetics and give back the natural and functional beauty of your smile.
Experience Integrative Dentistry!
If we managed to spark your interest in the concept of Integrative Dentistry, go ahead and schedule an appointment today and ask for a Complete Dental Exam. It will make a huge difference in your life. Call us now.