Initial Holistic Dentistry Visit
– A Comprehensive Oral Examination
Your initial appointment at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre (SHDC) is an opportunity to review your general and oral health with the dentist – based on holistic dentistry principles.
One of the most common questions asked is… ’what is holistic dentistry?’
Holistic dentistry recognises we are dealing with a whole person. Each person has a health history that may have links to their oral health, and these connections are often surprising.
Your Initial Appointment with a Holistic Dentist
Your first appointment is an opportunity for us to get a detailed history. For example:
- Your digestion may impact your oral health.
- The gut is an important reflection of the body’s immune function… A compromised immune function can make you more susceptible to oral and systemic health problems.
- Reflux, heartburn or indigestion make you far more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Are you a mouth breather or a nasal breather? The answer can affect both your general health and your oral health. Snoring can also affect breathing and health.
- Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? In 70-80% of cases, this reflects sleep-disordered breathing.
- Do you wake up with a headache, neck, or jaw ache? Holistic dentistry often uncovers the solution to these and many other frustrating conditions.
- Waking up at night to go to the toilet can also reflect dysfunctional breathing at night – mouth breathing may be involved.
- Do you wake up feeling refreshed? Sleep is the most important part of the day.
These examples are why a detailed medical history can often connect your general health concerns to particular oral health conditions.
We are still also focused on more obvious dental issues:
- Are you in pain? This is important and should not be ignored, although it’s sobering to know the vast majority of dental infections have little or no pain associated with them.
- Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and are not normal. The solution IS NOT to stop flossing. The links between periodontal disease and cardiovascular and other systemic risk factors are well established.
- Can you chew comfortably?
- Are your teeth sensitive to cold? Cold sensitivity often reflects an issue with your bite. You may be clenching or grinding your teeth; an existing filling or crown may not be in balance.
- Are your teeth sensitive to heat? This is a different issue reflecting chronic inflammation within the tooth’s nerve.
- Do you have fillings, and what material is used? The joint between the filling and tooth can start to leak, allowing decay to undermine the tooth. As metal mercury, silver fillings get older, they corrode, expand and cause teeth to crack.
- Do you have root canal treatments? It is important to check whether there is any underlying dental infection, even if there is no pain. 3D cone beam X-rays reveal whether a root canal filling is associated with any infection.
- Are you anxious about dental treatment? Like many people, this is a real issue and one we take very seriously, offering our patients a wide range of support to ensure their treatment is relaxed and comfortable.
- Teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, and Invisalign services can also be discussed.
The Holistic Dentistry Approach at SHDC, Sydney
Understanding health challenges in our modern world and our role as practitioners.
A holistic approach to healthcare in general and holistic dentistry, in particular, understands how health can be compromised and what steps can be taken to restore health and build resilience.
We live in a modern world where ‘stress’ is a problem affecting people’s health. The research suggests 70% of people believe stress is affecting their mental and physical health, and not in a positive way.
We have worked within a healthcare model that recognises ‘stress’ as anything that compromises your immune system and promotes chronic inflammation; both are the common denominator of almost every disease.
Therefore, we view stress as a combination of emotional, environmental, postural, nutritional and dental stresses. So, the goal is to identify and reduce as many of those stressors.
The Holistic Health Model at SHDC
Developing the Holistic Health Perspective
Our focus is clearly on the dental stress aspect of this model. We continue to develop our holistic health understanding and work with a network of like-minded medical and allied health practitioners to deal with the other stressors.
The Five Pillars of Health
To restore health and build resilience, we have identified five pillars of health to focus on; sleep, breathe, nourish, move and thought.
Part of taking your medical history is also recognising genetic predispositions and epigenetics… how your genes express themselves in your overall health.
Life in our modern world is a question of balance, and the diagram above summarises our approach.
What To Expect at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre?
A Patient-Centred Approach
At SHDC, we take a patient-centred approach, outlining your oral health and treatment options and then delivering the highest standard of care in a relaxed and comfortable environment.
If you’d like to make an appointment with us, we look forward to helping you achieve the best of health.
Together, let’s focus on health rather than fighting disease.
In preparation for your dental appointment, we will send you the Medical History Form, which will help us spend more productive time with you at your appointment.
The Dentist will conduct a thorough oral examination, taking images and any necessary radiographs. Once we understand your needs and requirements, the Dentist will present a tailored treatment plan (if necessary) and discuss it with you in detail.
When you have considered the options and decided how you would like to proceed we will then schedule the appropriate appointment.
Payment is required at the time of service, and for your convenience, we accept cash, EFTPOS and all major credit cards.
We do have HICAPS facility for your health fund rebate if you have private health insurance on the day of treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Holistic Dentistry
What is Holistic Dentistry?
The human body is a perfect example of what it means to be ‘holistic’… it does not work as one part separate from the other.
As holistic dentists, we recognise that while the primary focus of our treatment is the oral cavity, we also consider the whole person attached to the body, and we regard the oral cavity/mouth as:
- The gateway to the digestive tract – to chew food effectively, the first step in digestion, and break it down sufficiently to absorb nutrients, a well-functioning mastication system is essential.
- The gateway to the respiratory tract – the size and shape of your mouth, is there sufficient room for all 32 teeth – these issues determine the size and shape of the upper airway affecting sleeping and breathing optimally.
- The site of the two most common infections, tooth decay and gum disease, the latter being linked to almost every chronic disease, with chronic inflammation being the common denominator.
Because of tooth decay, we have to restore tooth structure and sometimes replace missing teeth – we are conscious of using materials that are as biocompatible as possible.
The mouth is the most sensitive part of the body affecting the balance of muscles and joints throughout the body. With this knowledge, we have helped many patients suffering from chronic tension headaches, neck aches, and jaw (TMJ) joint problems.
Why take dental x-rays? Are they safe?
We use digital radiography, which reduces radiation by a significant amount.
In order to do a thorough and comprehensive examination, we need to check those areas we cannot see with our own eyes, and it is in those areas that decay and infections commonly occur, with or without pain:
- Between teeth, the flossing surfaces
- The root of the teeth
- The bone supporting the teeth
- The jaw bone
- The jaw joints
- And more…
So that is why we need to take dental x-rays.
Nothing hurts in my mouth, so why should I be concerned?
Pain is a very poor gauge as to whether there is a problem.
It often surprises us that one patient may only have a small cavity and be in a lot of pain while another may have extensive decay and infections and yet never had any pain.
In our collective experience, we have noticed the vast majority of dental infections have NO PAIN associated with them.
I am scared of dental treatment. Can you help?
Welcome to the very big club of people who are anxious, scared or even terrified of dental treatment – we are committed to helping.
We take this issue very seriously at the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre. We are committed to delivering the highest standard of care, appropriate for each patient, in a pain-free, relaxed and comfortable.
We do many things to help, and we can discuss the full range of options with you. In our experience, dental treatment can be a pain-free and comfortable procedure.
Read more information on Dental Anxiety.
Does the first appointment include a teeth clean?
Our first appointment with you is a comprehensive assessment of your oral health and what any ongoing needs you might have. This takes time and its important that together, we go through the issues relevant to you and outline treatment alternatives and costs.
The initial consultation does not include a teeth clean.
Your dental hygiene and therapy are an important part of your dental health. We therefore have dedicated dental hygienists and oral health therapists that provide a thorough clean for our patients.
As we do not know the state of your teeth beforehand, this is usually best to treatment plan so we can provide you with exactly the service you need at your subsequent appointment.
Schedule Your Next Appointment or Send Us An Enquiry