Friday, December 16, 2011

The Holistic Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Oh my gosh. It is Friday and the second to last blog of the year for me. Our Christmas party is tonight. Have you been shopping? Are you stressed?

I want to give you an update on the lecture stuff. I finished the DVD speaker packet and have mailed out about 25 of them so far. I look up meetings online, find the contact person, write them a personal note and slip it in an envelope. It is a lot of work. All this while trying to maintain relationships with potential sponsors.

Anyway, I got a call yesterday from the Washington AGD. They want me to come and speak to their people. She asked if I was available January 24, 2013. This is my second lecture gig. I am so pumped. In the DVD, I say I am developing a hands-on course. This woman said that she wanted the “whole day experience.”

I am what you call a general dentist. I am a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. And occasionally I come into contact with general dentists who begin to specialize as a general dentist. One thing I have never understood is this specialty of holistic dentistry. Now, before I go on, I am admitting I don't know much about it.

We have a couple holistic dentists in Orlando. I am a little jaded when it comes to them. Again, I only know what I know and I know that I have had patients that come to me telling me they had all their amalgams taken out by Dr. X because he said there were toxins in the fillings. I have seen someone drive three hours to see a dentist in Boca because he was a naturalist. This dentist pulls all teeth that have root canals in them and does all porcelain bridges.

That patient came to me because the naturalist lost his license. I recently replaced all of his all-porcelain bridges that had decay everywhere (because the naturalist also told them that fluoride is bad).

Anyway, this has recently hit home. I have a patient that I truly love. Her family is great. They came to me when they lived here and still come to me after they have moved away. A couple years ago, she got really sick. This 45-year-old vibrant woman couldn't get out of bed. They have been going to doctor after doctor, hospital after hospital for more than two years. This treatment and that treatment. From steroids to acupuncture. It gets manageable but then it gets worse again, and her kids have to tie her shoes for her.

The family was in getting their teeth cleaned and she handed me the results of the $500 blood test they did on dental products. They tested her for allergies to dental materials. I have seen allergy tests to 10 things, or maybe all the dots on the back when they might be testing for 25-40 things. Well, in her test, they tested for almost 22,000 dental materials. No, that is not a misprint. This binder has every dental product known to man and it indicates if she is allergic to it (somehow they tested her for 40 different types of gutta percha).

She went on to say that she has seen a holistic dentist in her town and he has recommended they she get her FRONT tooth pulled out (#9) because it has a root canal in it. Not because it is a bad root canal (my specialist did it) or because she might be allergic to the materials in the crown (which I did, that is a perfect match to the tooth next to it). I don't know if this is because of residual infection after all root canals. I don't know if it because of the gutta percha. Nonetheless, this dentist recommended it and she asked what I thought she should do.

Now, they have admitted they are desperate. You and I both know that there are just some ailments that our modern medicine doesn’t know how to fix. People get sick and they can't figure it out. You and I can know this but we are not the ones that are sick. If you are sick, you think that if you take the right medicine, if you see the right doctor, you are going to get better. You have heard of people that have cancer or some fatal disease and they go to China because they heard of something new going on over there. I knew someone that had cancer who bought an hyperbaric chamber to do their own treatments. My patient has spent so much money, has been to all these doctors, and has gotten no relief. That would make me desperate too.

What would you tell her? “I feel your pain. I know that you are looking for that silver bullet. But out of 200 dentists, 199 of them are going to tell you that this holistic dentist is totally off his rocker. And the one that agrees is the holistic dentist himself. I am going to back you 100%. I don't agree with this dentist. But I can see you in pain and I want you out of it. If you have the money and there is .1% chance of the stars aligning and this actually making you feel better, then go for it. I don't think it will work, but I love you and I will be here to restore your implant if you so choose. I am not going to love you less."

This dentist actually told her that 50% of his patients get 100% relief within 24 hours. You know there are probably some "research" articles that he could find to back him up. I was asked about amalgam the other day and I told them that I believe it is safe. I mean, if anyone should have ill effects of amalgam it is me. I take in amalgam dust all the time.(And the only problem I have had is this little twitch.) I told them that there is research out there but really you can find research on just about anything. If you want to believe something, you can find a "scientist" that agrees with you.

It sucks that she is hurting. It sucks that there is no cure for what she has. And it sucks that she is so desperate that she feels like taking her tooth out will help. Any thoughts?

Hope you are having a good week.



Elysse Parsons said...

I feel for your patient. I never thought that this could be possible. 22,000 dental materials?! How can she survive that. I hope and pray that she'll find the solution for that. It's so nice that you're genuinely concerned about your patients. I also like that you're honest and doesn't give false hopes. Keep us posted about this case of yours. Hoping for the best. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

I had one guy tell me he wanted his tooth 7 out because had a root canal and some book said it was causing his prostate problem. Nothing was wrong and it was asymptomatic. I told no and the o/s told him no he would not take it out. Luckily he still has it with no problems.

Another person got tested for the breast cancer gene and had a family history of it. She was totally cancer free but got all of her stuff removed. People will do some unusual things to get what they want.

Anonymous said...

I've got a new pte coming in this afternoon with concern that a root canal treated anterior tooth is "Blocking a meridian" according to her naturapath. Wow! This pte was referred to us by our local orthodontist. Can't wait for this conversation.

andre nel said...

This weekend, we were invited to spend some time at a local lake with one of our kids' friend's family. It was a pretty day, and they seemed like nice people, so we agreed. He runs/owns a local non-dental buisness and she is a teacher. Almost a totally related event to dentistry, except that the family comes to the office. I am not the most outgoing or social person. It takes me a while to get warmed up to people. My wife is the opposite; she is very comfortable talking to almost anyone. Orlando Dentist

Anonymous said...

Im not familiar with holistic dentistry either but if you want some good info I suggest you read up on Mercola dot com he has a LOT to say on the fillings you are talking about and he has always been right for the many years I have been reading his articles!


PLEASE NOTE: When commenting on this blog, you are affirming that any and all statements, and parts thereof, that you post on “The Daily Grind” (the blog) are your own.

The statements expressed on this blog to include the bloggers postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), nor do they imply endorsement by the AGD.