Let’s take a regular cavity filling, for example. When a cavity develops, the decaying material inside the tooth must be removed, completely sterilized, and filled so that it does not continue growing and lead to a root canal (full removal of a sick tooth beyond repair). Metal fillings are a poor choice not only because of their toxicity, but also because their permanence is questionable. Believe it or not, their need for several replacements over the years is quite common. Unfortunately, though, neither dentists nor patients are really aware that the fillings are not in tip-top shape.
Replacing the filling means removing the first filling (which can be dangerous to the surrounding tooth as it is); re-sterilizing and removing infected tissue that, yes, may have continued developing underneath; sanding down yet more healthy tooth in preparation for the next filling; and, finally, a higher amount of metal than the patient started with to fill that empty space. In some cases, this process repeats itself enough to where the patient needs a root canal — full removal of the tooth — all because of wrong materials installed in the wrong way since the beginning.
As you can see, this is definitely not the best way to go. It makes patients miserable, especially those whose health, oral and physical, is in poorer condition than most. It doesn’t make sense to keep using this method — filling mouths with unsightly, dysfunctional metals.
It doesn’t stop at fillings. Patients come back in to get crowns, bridges, veneers, etc. to be redone and freshly attached. Conventionally, each of these procedures requires invasive dentistry that removes at least some of the natural hard and/or soft tissues in the body and replaces it with unnatural and often ill-tolerated materials. The effects may lie undetected for a long time while the patient blindly accepts appointment after appointment for more dental work in the office.
If you lived to be 100 years old, would you really want to visit the dentist for a repeated surgery every few years, losing part of your teeth each time until your entire mouth is replaced with artificial materials?
Tomorrow, we’ll see why minimally invasive holistic dentistry is superior in comfort, quality, and strength for long-term oral health.
Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles