Unlocking Holistic Health: How Origin Dental Wellness Transforms Traditional Dentistry
At Origin Dental Wellness, we recognize that the body can not be healthy if the mouth isn’t healthy. The mouth is where input into the body begins, it is the origin of overall health. Because of this, our processes are quite different from what one would see in a traditional dental office.
For example, new patients are introduced into our office through a comprehensive two hour new patient appointment. This amount of time gives us the privilege to really get to know our patients, discuss their overall health, and determine the relationships connecting their overall health to the health of their mouths. After all, the body was created to function as a whole person and not just individual parts in the same skin. It is all connected, and what is happening in the mouth has a profound effect on the rest of the body.
This new patient appointment begins with a cone beam CT scan of the mouth. This 3 dimensional technology gives us the ability to scan through the upper and lower jaws, looking for hidden infections often associated with failing root canal treated teeth. These infections can have a profoundly negative effect on the body, burdening the immune system with the bacterial load that can potentially be carried throughout the body. The cone beam CT scan also gives us the ability to view the airway, determining whether or not the risk of sleep apnea exists.
Following review of the CT scan, we perform an oral cancer screening. The American Cancer Society states that the risk of oral cancer for men is 1 in 60, and the risk for women is 1 in 141. It is very important that we, as dental healthcare providers, examine the mouth for any areas of potential cancer. If caught early, it can be cured. If oropharyngeal cancer is not caught early and has had an opportunity to spread, it is often fatal.
The next step in the new patient appointment is to determine the microbial load in the mouth. This is done by examining whether there are areas of bleeding in the gum tissues and if bone loss around the teeth is present. Bleeding gums and bone loss are a sign of a microbiome imbalance, meaning there are more bad bacteria present in the mouth than good bacteria. This results in inflammation of the gum tissues. This inflammation, being based in bad bacteria, has been proven to be causative in cardiovascular disease, namely atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries of the heart), increased risk of stroke, premature and/or low birth weight babies in pregnant women, and diabetes. We know that by using techniques that implement treatments such as ozone and probiotics for the mouth, we can help to eradicate this bad bacteria and therefore have a great positive impact on overall health, decreasing the risk of the associated diseases.
Following this portion of the exam, we evaluate the health of the teeth, looking for not only dental decay, but also determining the presence of fractures, existing failing restorations, as well as whether or not mercury amalgam fillings are present. If mercury amalgam fillings are present, we discuss the protocol to remove that mercury safely (the SMART protocol), and discuss restorative options depending on the condition of the remaining tooth structure.
The foundation of the comprehensive appointment for each new patient is to have a collaborative appointment where trust is developed between the dentist and the patient. The patient determines their own treatment plan, guided by the dentist in giving options with associated risks and benefits. The focus is on overall health and the impact that the mouth has on that overall health. We at Origin Dental Wellness consider it a privilege and an honor to guide our patients towards living healthier and therefore more fulfilling lives!