The standard dental advice goes something like this: Brush twice a day, floss once every day, and see your dentist every six months – even as evidence suggests that regular visits should be on a personalized, risk-based schedule, at least for adults.
Still, those regular visits matter. They’re a time to get your teeth cleaned more thoroughly than you can do on your own at home, and they’re a time for your dentist to check your entire mouth for any signs of disease or dysfunction.
And if that exam goes down in a biological dental office like ours, you’ll quickly find that it’s a very different experience than in a conventional office.
What Makes a Biological Dental Exam Different
One of the things that makes biological dentistry so special is that we recognize and understand the complex relationships between oral and systemic health, both physical and energetic. The well-established link between gum disease and other inflammatory conditions is just the start of it. Certain dental materials and procedures, for instance, can impact overall health, as can things like an imbalanced bite. Medical conditions can likewise alert us to potential problems in the mouth.
Oral health is simply inseparable from whole body health. As the great 20th century German physician Dr. Reinhold Voll taught, up to 90% of health problems have an oral component. Without considering the mouth in its relation to the rest of the body, it’s impossible to achieve optimal health.
So rather than taking a rather cursory “look-see” at your teeth and gums, we dedicate up to 90 minutes at your first appointment to a thorough exam that considers all aspects of your oral health in relation to the rest of your body. This extra time also gives us an opportunity to start learning about you as a person, including your goals, values, and priorities as they pertain to your mouth/body health.
In this way, we’re able to provide the most personalized dental care possible, specific to you and your needs.
Your First Biological Exam at the Holistic Dental Center of New Jersey
Your first exam is also about creating a good baseline record of your oral health that we can then refer to going forward, comparing conditions so we can continue to customize your care as conditions in your mouth change. This includes an in-depth review – both verbally, as well as on the forms you complete before your appointment – of both your dental and medical history, looking and listening for signs of potential correlations between systemic and oral conditions.
Our doctors also make a full assessment of existing dental conditions. This includes
- Assessment of your existing restorations, making sure there are no fractures, leaking, or loose fillings, crowns, or bridges, or signs of recurrent decay.
- Checking for any new decay, infections, abscesses, hidden jaw infections, etc.
- Screening for possible gum disease and recession.
- Taking a bacterial sample of plaque to look under the microscope to check the oral bacteria whether any harmful bacteria are of concern.
- Evaluating your TMJ joint.
- Performing an oral cancer screening.
We take digital x-rays at this first appointment, as well, which is the only way we can see what’s happening inside your teeth, as well as assess the soft tissues and bone supporting your teeth. X-rays also let us identify any emerging infection below the gum line, before it causes pain and discomfort. These x-rays use very low radiation, but as an extra precaution, we can provide a supplement to help counter the effects.
You can also rest assured that, moving forward, we never take x-rays routinely as many conventional offices still do. Rather, we only take them as needed for diagnosis and to plan treatment of any problems that arise.
After Your Exam: Moving Forward Together
After the exam, the doctor will spend time with you, sharing their initial findings and offering their treatment recommendations, as needed. They’ll talk with you about things you can do at home to improve your oral health, from hygiene tips to nutrition. There’s time for you to ask questions and get answers, as well.
Ultimately, we want to do all we can to help you prevent problems from arising in the first place, so you don’t need treatment at all but just those regular visits to make sure all remains well or identify any emerging problems as early as possible so they can be treated in the least invasive way possible.