Friday, September 14, 2007

My First Holistic Dental Experience

I experienced my very first laser dental cleaning yesterday. I was a little apprehensive beforehand since it was something I'd never done before, and isn't even standard practice in most dentist offices. But I had read enough about this holistic dental center to know it was something both DH and I would like.

Founded by Dr. Richard Hansen, the Comprehensive Dental Center is on the cutting edge of health in dentistry. I was surprised to find out that people come from all over the world just to be treated at the CDC! One woman recently came all the way from Saudi Arabia and stayed two weeks to have a complete mouth reconstruction done.

I really like that Hansen is focused not just on the mouth, but on the whole person. He sees how everything works together, and how the mouth is such an important part of a healthy, working body. His center uses only bio-compatible materials when doing dental work, which I think is totally awesome and wonderful. Whereas a standard dentist would drill into a tooth, removing not only the decayed section, but also good portions of the tooth in order to fill a cavity (thereby weaking the structure of the tooth), Hansen and his staff use high tech lasers to remove only the decayed area, leaving the rest of the tooth alone, and can then fill just that small section. At the CDC they don't use silver, mercury, porcelain, or any other materials that could leech back into the body and cause harm.

My visit was fun and relaxing. As soon as I walked in I was treated so well. There was a list of herbal teas at the front desk that were available while you waited, but I didn't even get a chance to sit down in the waiting room because I was immediately taken back and given a tour of the office. Because I'm pregnant, they didn't do full x-rays on me - just a limited x-ray on one tooth I thought might be having a problem. Even though they do digital x-rays, which use a considerably smaller amount of radiation, I felt totally protected. They first wrapped a full body shield around my stomach, tucking it in under me, and then placed not one, but two more shields over me. I felt like they were showing so much respect to me and to my baby by taking extra precautions, even with the safety of digital x-rays, and even with a note from my OB saying I was okay to have limited x-rays.

Next I had the great privilege of meeting Dr. Hansen. I didn't expect that I would be seen by the founder himself! He was so kind and gentle. He used a neat little camera in my mouth and we were able to see my teeth, larger than life, up on monitors. A flat-screen monitor was right in front of me so I got to view my teeth up close and personal. It was a little weird to be on the inside of my own mouth, but cool at the same time (now I know where I need to focus my tooth-brushing)!

After my brief exam (I'll have a full exam after the baby is born) I had my cleaning. Again, such a cool experience. The dental hygienist showed me the laser she would be using. The chair I sat in looked like a normal dentist chair, but I was delighted to find out it was a massaging chair. For the duration of the cleaning I had a massage while I sat there! It seemed more like I was at a spa than a dentist's office. She told me the rinse she was using was comprised of echinacea and essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus. The whitener she used was made of baking soda and sea salts. Music to my ears (and teeth)!

The cleaning itself was so amazing. I'm used to leaving a dentist's office with a sore mouth and gums from all the scraping, and a slight taste of blood along with the toothpaste sensation. This was so much different. The laser loosened the plaque without causing any pain at all. She only had to do minor scraping, and my teeth looked and felt so smooth and clean after. I don't see how anyone could go back to a regular dental cleaning after experiencing this.

Before I left I asked the dental hygienist what the CDC dentists thought about fluoride, since I had been reading things in the holistic world for awhile saying it is toxic and dangerous and has no business being given to children, or anyone. She said none of the dentists use it and they don't have any products in their office with fluoride. She told me of Dr. Hansen's extensive research and experience with fluoride, and how he had included a chapter about it in his book. They ended up letting me borrow their office copy of the book so I could read that chapter. I wish I could quote the entire chapter here, but instead I'll just encourage you to get a copy yourself. There is an incredible amount of information that every interested person should read. I was thoroughly convinced by his research and conclusions.

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