Gibson Dental

What Is a Comprehensive Dentist?

October 19, 2022
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Posted By: Dr. McKenna Gibson

You might've heard the term comprehensive dental care and wondered what that means. We're here today to help you define and understand more about wellness and comprehensive dentistry.

Comprehensive care focuses on the whole-body, integrated approach to oral health and patient care. Dental care that considers the oral-systemic connection and offers treatments and care that benefit both your dental health and overall well-being. Here's what you should know.

Defining Comprehensive Dentistry

Dentists who take a biological approach to dentistry are often described using several different terms interchangeably. However, these terms have subtle differences in their definitions.

  • Biological dentistry - Like a holistic dentist, this practitioner believes that the entire body impacts dental health and vice versa. For example, the use of mercury amalgam fillings has effects on your whole body.
  • Functional dentistry - This dentist focuses on how body function relates to oral health. These providers will look for root causes to permanently eliminate problems.
  • Biocompatible dentistry - This dentist ensures that the materials they use don't negatively impact your body.
  • Alternative dentistry - This dentist may use alternative methods to help their patients achieve optimum dental health, such as probiotics or nutritional supplements.
  • Integrative dentistry - An integrative dentist may want to combine medicine with dentistry to manage the whole body and dental health.

A comprehensive dentist may combine principles from each of these schools of thought to help their patients achieve and maintain their best dental health and overall well-being.

What Is the Oral-Systemic Connection

General and comprehensive dentists in Madison, AL, alike understand the oral-systemic connection, which means that dental health impacts the entire body's well-being and vice versa. With your mouth being the gateway to your body, it makes sense that they're connected.

Science has shown us that the bacteria causing periodontal (gum) disease also contributes to inflammation causing other non-dental health concerns, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Complications during pregnancy

Gum disease has even been linked with brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's. This is because bacteria can enter the bloodstream to reach other areas of the body and even the spinal fluid to travel to the brain, contributing to these non-dental health concerns.

Patients with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease and vice versa. This information tells us that guarding your dental health has never been more critical for protecting your overall health. Holistic dentists use the safest, most natural treatments to preserve dental health and promote general well-being.

What Are Comprehensive Dental Treatments?

Comprehensive dentists may use several methods to help you achieve and maintain your best dental health. Here are some treatment philosophies and services you may find at your holistic dentist in Madison.

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Using mercury-free materials in a mercury-safe manner
  • A focus on prevention
  • Biocompatibility testing for dental materials
  • Using the least invasive and most natural materials

A Comprehensive dentist will employ the most natural and safest materials when possible when restoring damaged or decayed teeth while being as conservative as possible when treating dental problems.

A Focus on Preventive Dentistry

One of the best ways to protect your smile and your dental health is preventive dentistry in Madison, AL. With routine teeth cleanings and checkups, dentists can help their patients avoid having more significant problems to deal with in the future, like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Early detection of these concerns allows patients to treat problems when they're small and easier to treat with less invasive procedures.

Both general and comprehensive dentists can agree on the importance of preventive dentistry and overall wellness. It's the best way to defend against gum disease and other costly problems. For example, when your Madison dentist detects tooth decay in its earliest stages, they can likely treat it with a small and inexpensive dental filling. However, if decay is not diagnosed or left untreated, it progressively worsens and moves farther into your tooth, which can result in an infection.

A tooth infection is painful and needs root canal treatment right away to preserve your tooth and eliminate the infection. If a tooth infection goes untreated, it results in tooth loss, which is a downward spiral for your dental health, typically resulting in more tooth loss.

Contact Gibson Dental

We hope this blog defining comprehensive dentistry has been helpful for you in your dental journey.

Do you have questions about your dental health or treatment that's been recommended for you? Then, we invite you to contact Gibson Dental at (256) 724-3530 to schedule your next appointment or learn more about how we can help you maintain your healthy and beautiful smile.

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