The Beginner's Guide to Natural Living
The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide on how to prevent disease, lose weight, improve energy and live vibrantly.

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Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
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Holistic Dentist
What Does A Holistic Dentist Do?

Holistic dentistry is on the rise as awareness and interest in natural health grows. A holistic dentist differs from a conventional dentist in that a holistic dentist evaluates the whole person in regard to treatment options and opts for non-toxic treatment methods that enhance overall health and wellness. Sometimes called “bio-compatible,” “biological” or natural” dentists, holistic dentists attend the same dental schools as their conventional counterparts, earn the same credentials and perform the same procedures while using non-toxic and less toxic materials.

For example, a holistic dentist would fill a cavity with composite resins rather than a mercury (silver) amalgam, which contains about 50% mercury. More toxic than lead, cadmium or arsenic, mercury accumulates in organs, fetal tissue and maternal milk and may compromise the immune system. Already outlawed in Sweden and banned during pregnancy in Germany, Austria and Canada, mercury amalgam fillings are the single greatest source of mercury exposure, says the World Health Organization.

It’s somewhat ironic that holistic dentists who practice mercury-free dentistry have undergone persecution, lost their dental license and are sometimes called “quacks,” when in 1848, a “quack” was a dentist who did use silver fillings (mercury was called “quacksilver” in Europe, and “quicksilver” in the U.S.). Amazingly, members of the American Society of Dental Surgeons had to pledge NOT to use mercury amalgams!

Even less well known is that the American Dental Association was formed by dentists who didn’t want to stop using mercury because it was cheap and easy to use. “The Scientific Case Against Amalgam,” from the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology website,, provides further historical insight on mercury.

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A potential health risk better avoided by everyone, “silver” (mercury) amalgam fillings can cause lethargy, blurred vision, dizziness, muscle aches and numbness in people who are chemically sensitive. Many people visit a holistic dentist for the first time to see about removing their silver amalgams.

An experienced holistic dentist will follow specific protocols for the safe removal of silver amalgams, considered hazardous waste by the EPA (a substance that is unsafe for a dentist to touch is safe to put in our mouth, near the brain?). Once removed, a holistic dentist will replace silver amalgams with an alternative biocompatible material and may also recommend mercury detoxification.

Holistic dentistry comprises the full spectrum of dental treatment, including root canals recommendations and periodontal disease treatment (bleeding gums and gum disease). Holistic dentists offer several alternatives to mainstream dental practices, with the underlying philosophy of treating the whole person, naturally.

Find a holistic dentist at the Holistic Dental Association, or 970-259-1091, or the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, or 863-420-6373. You can also learn more about holistic dentists and what they do by visiting my holistic dentistry page.