I read an article which equated holistic dentists with naturopaths. I know naturopaths are not legitimate doctors but just people who study natural ways to help the body. You couldn’t go to one for treatment using your insurance because they’re not recognized. I’m wondering if holistic dentists are the same thing? I like the idea of treating my body’s whole health, but I want to make sure I’m seeing an actual dentist. Can you help me out?
Cameron L. – Staten Island, NY
I’m glad you asked. There is a big difference between a naturopath and a holistic dentist. While you likely won’t find the category “Holistic Dentists” in your dental insurance provider’s directory, that is because the ADA recognizes only nine specialties. Not even cosmetic dentist is a recognized specialty, though there are definitely some patients who are better than others at cosmetic work.
It’s extraordinarily difficult to “fake” being a dentist. If they have a DDS or DMD by their name, they’re likely the real deal. There are so many regulatory agencies which check up on medical practitioners regularly. It would not be something they could easily con their way into.
In dental circles, holistic dentists are simply dentists who have a treatment philosophy of treating the whole body. How far each dentist goes with that is an individual decision. For instance, some are just mercury-free dentists, while others are also BPA free and triple filter their water.
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