NEW YORK, July 19, 2021 (Newswire.com) - Holistic dentistry continues to grow in popularity, providing a more natural, comprehensive alternative to traditional dentistry.
While holistic treatment methods and materials have their benefits, there's still little data about their effectiveness and risks. Because it's a budding field, those interested in holistic dentistry may also have a tough time finding a reputable holistic dentist who's covered under their dental insurance plan.
That's why, as holistic dentistry continues to gain traction, it's important to understand the pros and cons of this type of treatment, and how insurance companies approach holistic care.
What is holistic dentistry?
Holistic dentistry, also known as natural or biological dentistry, is a form of medicine that takes into account the patient's whole body — not just their mouth. While traditional dentistry may only focus on treating the teeth, gums, and jaw, holistic dentistry considers each person's overall physical, emotional, and spiritual health. That's because, according to the philosophy of holistic medicine, they are all connected.
As such, holistic dental treatments go beyond just brushing and flossing. They may include aromatherapy, acupuncture, spiritual healing, herbology, and nutrition.
Holistic dentists also commonly use natural and non-toxic materials in their treatments. They may use composite fillings instead of mercury fillings, for example, and natural toothpastes instead of toothpastes with fluoride. Holistic dentists may not perform root canals, either, because of the chemicals used in these procedures.
The pros and cons of holistic dentistry
There are specific benefits and downsides to holistic dentistry, many of which are still being discovered and formally evaluated.
The biggest advantages of holistic dentistry include:
- Use of natural materials to prevent toxic chemicals from entering the body
- Treatment focused on whole-body health, which can help identify and remedy the root of an oral problem
- Access to high-tech, alternative treatments, which are used by many holistic dentists, such as ceramic dental implants and low-dose digital X-rays
Research is still emerging about the safety and risks of holistic dentistry. That's why those interested in this form of medicine should be aware of its potential drawbacks, including:
- Many procedures deemed "unconventional" by the American Dental Association (ADA)
- High out-of-pocket costs because holistic dentists may not be in your insurance network
- Lack of access to important treatments such as fluoride, root canals, and prescription medicines, which may be needed to treat tooth decay or severe infections but are considered unsafe by holistic dentists
Does insurance cover holistic dentistry?
Many dental insurance plans do not cover holistic dentistry. If you're interested in holistic care, you may need to contact your insurance provider directly and ask whether or not they cover this type of medicine.
Also be aware that holistic dentists are commonly listed as "general" dentists within insurance networks. That's because holistic dentistry is not considered a specialty by the ADA. To find a holistic dentist, then, you'll need to research general dentists in your network and ask if they use holistic practices.
As information continues to emerge about the effectiveness of holistic dentistry, this form of care may become more accessible. Until then, it's important to carefully research the options provided by your insurance plan and the dentists in your network.
Source: iQuanti, Inc.