Our Holistic Health Model at SHDC

Our Holistic Health Model  | At Sydney Holistic Dental Centre

Dr Ron Ehrlich answers one of the most common questions we are asked…

What is a holistic dentist?

The answer is simply this… 

 “The body works as a whole, just like
the planet works as a whole”

We are not compartmentalised, even though we have specialties and even though our focus is very much on the oral cavity and on oral health. A holistic dentist recognises that we need a holistic model of health to work in and understand our role in that model.

The holistic health model in practice

The holistic health model we have used in our practice for over 30 years is to see the body, and our lives, and our health as a question of balance.

Many people acknowledge how stress is a significant part of our modern life and it affects us in negative ways. We define stress, as anything that compromises the immune system or promotes chronic inflammation because chronic inflammation is the common denominator in all diseases.

The holistic health model of five stresses

We consider a five-stressor model and recognise if we’re going to identify and minimise stresses, we need to have a structure to think about, both professionally and personally.

The five stresses affecting us…

  • Emotional stress
  • Environmental stress
  • Postural stress
  • Nutritional stress
  • Dental stress

People are often surprised by dental stress. We include this for two reasons. One, because we have been doing this for over 40 years so we feel reasonably well qualified to comment on dental stress and two, because for anybody who is interested in their health may never have fully connected their mouth and stress.

Dental stress includes oral infections, the biocompatibility of materials and potential toxicity. It also includes breathing and sleeping because the shape and size of your mouth determine the shape and size of your upper airway, and that can predispose you to breathing and sleep-breathing problems.

Chronic pain and stress

Chronic pain can be a significant stress. The mouth and oral cavity are such a sensitive area, if you clench or grind your teeth and things are out of balance, it can be implicated in headaches, neckaches, jaw pain and sleep disturbances.

So there are the five stressors in this stress model.

Holistic Health Model

Building resilience to promote a holistic health model

If you’re trying to, on the one hand, identify and minimise the stresses in life that compromise your immune function and promote chronic inflammation, the other side of the balancing beam is to try to build resilience. And to that effect, it helps to have a structure to think about it.

Create balance with five pillars of health

We have five pillars of health:

  • Sleep
  • Breathe
  • Nourish
  • Move
  • Think

We are what we eat, so nourish is very important. But the foundation of good health is a consistently good night’s sleep.

Sleeping and breathing are the foundational pillars on which nourish, move and think are built on.

Epigenetics affect our health

The whole balancing beam of five stresses and five pillars of health pivot on your genes and how your genes express themselves. This is called epigenetics. It’s a whole new science of how all of those factors affect the way your genes express themselves.

The holistic health model and philosophy

So that’s the holistic health model that we have worked with philosophically. In our holistic dental practice, even though the vast majority of our work is done as a dentist, we think about what we’re doing very differently. We also work with other health practitioners to try to improve your overall health.

We hope this helps answer the question, what is a holistic dentist? And we wish you the best of health.