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What is the difference between a holistic dentist and a regular dentist?


Wondering what the difference is between a holistic dentist and a regular dentist? It can be hard to make sense of all the jargon thrown around, but please don’t fret! Here are some of the basic differences between the two, and how they can affect your dental visits.

Holistic vs Regular Dentist

When you visit the dentist, what type of dental care do you expect to receive? Most people are familiar with standard dentistry, which is the type of care that focuses on the health of your teeth and gums. However, there is another type of dental care that is becoming more popular: Holistic Dentistry. 

Holistic dentists like Dr. Shauna Palmer in West Kelowna use regular dentistry as part of their treatment but  focus on the patient’s overall wellness. Since your oral health is directly connected to your overall health, it only makes sense.

Why Should I Choose Holistic Dentistry over Regular Dentistry?

There are many reasons why you should choose holistic dentistry over general dentistry. Holistic dentists take a more natural approach to dental care, using biocompatible materials and minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. They also focus on treating the whole person, not just their teeth, and consider how your oral health affects your overall health. 

Holistic dentists believe in looking at how all aspects of one’s life can affect oral health and may provide treatments for mental illnesses, allergies, jaw alignment issues, or gum disease as well as other problems affecting oral health. A holistically-minded dentist might take into account a person’s diet or lifestyle when developing treatment plans for their patients.

What About Allergies and Sensitivities?

When you have allergies or sensitivities, your body reacts to things that are normally harmless. This can happen when you eat certain foods, come in contact with certain substances, or even when you’re around certain animals.

A holistic dentist will take these into account when treating you for dental issues so they can create a customized treatment plan just for you. With this type of treatment, it is possible to find relief from pain and maintain a high quality of life.

What kind of Filling Materials Are Used by Holistic Dentists?

Dental amalgam is a silver-colored alloy used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Amalgam is made of mercury, silver, tin, and other metals. Holistic dentists avoid using amalgam because it contains mercury, which can be toxic. 

Instead, they use tooth-colored composite resin or ceramic to fill cavities. Regular dentists may use either type of filling material depending on the patient’s preference. Composite resins might be more expensive than amalgam but are generally more durable.

The Direction of Health in Traditional Dentistry vs Holistic Dentistry

As more and more people become interested in living a healthier lifestyle, the demand for holistic dentistry is on the rise. Holistic dentists take a more natural approach to oral care, with the goal of not only treating dental problems but also promoting overall wellness. Holistic dentists are concerned about the whole person, which means that they address issues such as nutrition, weight management, stress levels and even sleeping habits before addressing tooth decay or gum disease. The focus is on prevention rather than just treating symptoms after they’ve developed into serious health conditions.

The first question a holistic dentist may ask you is about your sleep patterns because your mouth needs to rest when you do. They may recommend changes in your diet if you are having trouble maintaining good teeth through diet alone. 

When having dental issues, a holistic dentist should be able to give you tips on how to reduce stress and live a happier life so that your mouth can heal itself. If you have been living an unhealthy lifestyle, chances are it has impacted your oral health. A holistic dentist can help identify any underlying causes of oral issues that might be affecting your overall well-being.

Dr. Shauna Palmer provides Holistic Dental Treatment in West-Kelowna

If you’re interested in holistic dentistry for yourself or your family, or if you have any more questions about how holistic dentistry differs from standard dentistry, then give Dr. Shauna Palmer’s office a call. Her knowledgable staff will be more than happy to help.

Make an appointment today!

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The cost of Natural Dentistry: Is a holistic dentist more expensive?


Finding a good dentist can be tough, especially if you want to opt out of the more traditional dental care choices like metal fillings and metal braces. While researching other dental treatment options, you might notice that holistic dentistry often pops up as an option, but most people don’t know what it actually entails. Holistic dentistry has many names, including natural dentistry, biologic dentistry, alternative dentistry, and green dentistry. 

Holistic dentistry follows different principles than mainstream dental care, and the results can be more, or less expensive, or not any difference at all. At any rate, holistic dentistry is focused on your overall health and without a doubt more healthful over time. However, many people are hesitant to change from traditional dentistry because they are worried about the costs of natural dentistry compared to regular care.

How does conventional dental care measure up with holistic dental treatments? Read more.

What exactly is holistic dentistry?

Holistic dentistry is more than just a fancy name for alternative dentistry. It’s an approach to dental care that views our mouths as part of our bodies, and believes in working with them on a holistic level. For example, rather than simply filling in a cavity, a holistic dentist like Dr. Shauna Palmer in West Kelowna, might recommend dietary changes or supplements to strengthen tooth enamel. 

The ultimate goal is to help improve your overall health by preventing further decay and gum disease through good oral hygiene. All in all, it’s about long-term prevention rather than short-term fixes.

What are examples of a holistic approach to dentistry?

Mercury Fillings Removal

Dr. Shauna Palmer: “We are frequently asked to remove our patients’ old amalgam fillings and replace them with white fillings. In my practice, I actually avoid using amalgam filling material – completely. But I’m also leery of removing old fillings because of the health implications to the patient, myself, and my team.”

Here’s why: Amalgam filling removal creates mercury vapors and particles. It’s extremely easy to inhale these vapors, which can then be absorbed into the body through the lungs. Removing these fillings incorrectly can expose my patients, my team, and myself to the potentially harmful effects of mercury. That’s why I decided to become SMART certified. This stands for SAFE Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone cancels out (kills) the organisms that cause many health issues, including dental diseases.
Ozone is:  Antibacterial – Antifungal – Antiviral. 

The main difference is the side effects. While ozone has virtually zero, pharmaceuticals can have many adverse side effects, including: Abdominal cramps and diarrhea, Nausea and vomiting, Yeast infections, Headaches, and Allergic reactions (like swelling and itching) to name a few. The great thing about ozone therapy is that it’s not just good for your dental health – it’s good for your overall health!

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer often isn’t discussed enough in conversations around dentistry and oral health. The lack of education and awareness is concerning. People over the age of 20 should get an oral cancer screening at least every three years and people over the age of 40 should be screened annually, wether symptomatic or not. 

Being screened is especially critical for people with high-risk behaviors, lifestyles and pre-existing conditions including: Smoking or chewing tobacco, Extra body weight, A family history of cancer. Oral cancer develops far less commonly in people under the age of 55. While this may be the case, it’s totally worth your time to receive annual screenings.

So … is a natural, biological, or holistic dentist more expensive?

When you look at the overall cost of oral healthcare, biological dentistry can actually be less expensive because it’s a longer lasting approach. Not just a quick dental fix. Holistic dentists often use less invasive and more conservative treatment plans, which can also keep costs low over a patient’s lifetime. Holistic dentistry can keep your body healthier, and your wallet happier!

Would you like to learn more about holistic dentistry? Contact Dr. Shauna Palmer, holistic dentist in West-Kelowna, BC.

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A Holistic Approach to Healthcare in Dentistry


What does ‘holistic’ mean and how does to fit into the healthcare world? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the term ‘holistic’ refers to ‘dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part.’ In healthcare, doctors and practitioners can choose to take a more holistic approach to their practice.

As a dentist in Kelowna, BC, I take a holistic and biological approach to treating my patients. As a proud West Kelowna dentist, I work to change people’s lives and not just their appearance. I focus on helping clients live better and more fulfilled lives, which starts with taking smiles and making them better.

What to Expect with a Holistic Dentist Approach

What does a holistic dentist practice look like? The holistic approach to dental care involves examining the tooth meridian as it connects to specific organs in the body. You can compare this to acupuncture medicine, which is centered on the belief that there is a meridian connection in the body and that two different points are always connected.

A biological dentist aims to treat patients in the safest and most natural way possible, while still achieving the successful outcomes that modern dentistry offers. Biological or holistic dentists look after the patient’s entire wellbeing by taking a physiological, whole-body approach to dentistry.

In my practice as a dentist in Kelowna, I implement holistic, homeopathic, and science-based principles into both the diagnosis and treatment of all my patients.

Fluoride-Free Treatments
A holistic dentist will take a fluoride-free approach to dental healthcare. At my office, we are completely fluoride-free.

The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology has made several preliminary determinations over the last 18 years all concluding that fluoride added to the public water supply delivers no discernible health benefits, and in fact, causes a higher incidence of adverse health effects.

Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings (SMART)
We became a SMART Certified safe amalgam fillings removal practice because I believe in removing silver fillings in the safest and most effective way possible. SMART stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique – its goals and recommendations strongly align with the holistic dental care goals in my practice.

I believe that the people in my care will be exposed to less risk of adverse health reactions due to mercury exposure from the removal of silver fillings.

Alternative Pain Management
By taking a holistic dentist approach to my medicine and practice, I believe in alternative forms of sedation that are different from the drugs and narcotics most dentists use today. If you are looking for a dentist in Kelowna who believes in alternative pain management, I offer NuCalm technology, which has zero negative side effects. In just four simple steps, NuCalm will soothe your dental anxiety, keep you calm and allow you to face any dental treatment with ease and relaxation.

Collaboration With Other Healthcare Professionals
As part of my approach to patients’ healthcare, I love to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in order to ensure that my patients receive the most holistic approach to their treatment and diagnosis. We refer our clients to local Kelowna and Vernon health providers who we know and trust to bring the most value to our clients.

Local health partners include family doctors, general physicians, physiotherapists, neurologists, surgeons, and orthodontists, to name a few.

Symptoms and Conditions Treated Naturally by Dentists

Because I take a holistic and biological dentist approach at my practice, I treat a wide variety of conditions that might not normally fall under the traditional dentistry umbrella.

In my holistic dentist approach to healthcare, I offer treatments for snoring and sleep apnea including CPAP services, snoring devices, and sleep apnea treatments. Other common general practice offerings we tackle include periodontal disease (gum disease), pain care for TMJ/TMD, jaw pain, headaches, ear pain, migraines, cosmetic teeth makeovers, and dental treatments.

Other Holistic Practitioners

A holistic dentist approach to healthcare is not uncommon. In fact, many facets in the healthcare profession utilize a more biological approach to treating clients. Nutritionists, naturopaths, and chiropractors are just some of the other healthcare professionals who use holistic and biological healthcare as their foundation for diagnosis and treating patients.

I believe that holistic care provides the most successful outcome and the safest way to reach each client’s treatment goals.

If you are ready to find a new dentist in Kelowna who takes a more holistic approach to dental care, call my office or book an appointment today!