The cons of conventional dentistry
Introduction & overview
Does dentistry as practiced today, included as and claiming to be part of the healing professions, truly deserve that status? Dentistry as usual limits its practice to invasive pain control as well as mechanical and esthetic/cosmetic interventions to improve the appearance of your teeth - until those restorations fail.
Dentists earn their living by operating on your teeth, gums or oral cavity and hence should more correctly be designated as dental surgeons - and surgery of course is a symptom-oriented medical approach, rarely if ever geared to address root causes. This of course is similar to large sections of conventional medicine as practised today - with the added complication that dentistry causes what typically amounts to permanent damage and destruction to natural teeth.
Even more seriously, it is claimed (even by a number of "alternative" dentists such as those who [thankfully] practise mercury-free dentistry) that conventional but toxic dental practices are fraught with health dangers (i.e. lack consideration for the detrimental systemic effects of treatments such as amalgam fillings and root canals), including interfering with the capacity for self-healing inherent in your entire body and even your teeth, gums and mouth.
The many conventional dentists I've had the (rather sad) pleasure to meet did not believe nor were ever interested in helping me improve my teeth, i.e. empowering me to take charge of my dental health. Unfortunately, their only interest was in drilling, filling and billing.
Thankfully, a few outstanding exceptions exist (though I have not personally met any of them) some of whom are quoted here. Not infrequently, these "renegade" dentists jeopardized their livelihood and career by speaking out and standing up for what they knew was the right thing to do (also compare On mercury- and toxin-free dentistry).
After years of less than positive experiences, personally I have decided to avoid dentists since I simply don’t wish to carry foreign materials in my mouth (whether they be fillings, crowns, inlays...) with their possible or proven health hazards such as amalgam mercury and other harmful metals and/or toxic chemicals leaching into the body, radioactive contamination etc.
Even the "simple" act of drilling into a tooth actually constitutes major trauma for the tooth thus attacked (not to mention the whole person if not benefitting from local anesthesia), comparable to an operation performed on another part of the physical body.
A concise list of the cons of conventional dentistry
- Conventional dentistry is a symptomatic approach largely based upon surgical procedures and techniques, rather than an approach trying to address and heal the root causes. If root causes are not addressed, the disease is likely to progress.
- Conventional dentistry both directly (e.g. metals) and indirectly (by setting up infections) introduces numerous toxins into the body and thus harms human health (and the environment such as by contributing a large part of the air-borne mercury pollution load).
- The conventional dentistry practice of doing root canal treatments is accused of being responsible for, triggering or contributing to numerous chronic and degenerative diseases.
- Conventional dentistry seriously damages the teeth and gums themselves (such as by frequently weakening teeth by filling them [acc. to dentist Dr. Nathan Cochrane], "soaking" them in toxins such as mercury and other toxic metals, drilling out both decayed and sound tooth structure to place a filling, subjecting the tooth to mechanical and chemical trauma, creating microscopic fractures via high-speed drilling, and often killing teeth in the longer term such as by crowning [acc. to dentist Dr Graeme Munro-Hall], reducing healthy teeth to mere stubs to put in a bridge, or by any of the factors mentioned above as well as others). This is without even mentioning the impact of dental x-rays and their contributory role in thyroid and other cancer.
- Dental diagnostics is likely to be a hit-or-miss affair leading to the "systematic edentulation of the patients".
On mercury- and toxin-free dentistry
There are a number of very active dentists and organisations working to eliminate toxins and harmful procedures from dentistry.
Some of them are admirable "heroes" ready to risk (and indeed losing or having lost, at least temporarily) their license to practise dentistry for their convictions. The repeatedly quoted Dr. Nara is one of them, a less well-known one is Dr. Larry J. Hanus, an outspoken advocate of mercury-free dentistry who had his license suspended by Iowa's dental board for a whopping 13 years.
His crime? He had been warning patients that "silver" fillings mostly consist of the neurotoxin mercury.
Another such case concerns a dentist who reported his observation of a link between suicidal tendencies and root-canalled teeth.
No more dentists?
In conclusion of this personal introduction, a quote from renegade dentist Dr. Nara:
Someday, hopefully soon, the dental profession will become extinct... it will happen as soon as the public learns about the cause and cure of cavities and gum problems. No one I've ever known in over 30 years has not wanted to solve their own problems... once they know how."
Robert O. Nara, D.D.S.
For now, I am very grateful that there are dentists willing to undertake the dangerous work of undoing some of the damage wreaked by other dentists (as in safely removing old amalgam fillings), research less toxic materials, apply ozone to kill caries bacteria (and thus help heal cavities) and even invent techniques allowing a tooth to regenerate and/or regrow.
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4 The entire subject is covered in-depth at Drilling and filling teeth: an unwise choice? On risks, damages and dangers and numerous reasons for avoiding conventional invasive dental treatment.
5 See "Ten dentists — ten diagnoses": On misdiagnoses or the quality and reproducibility of dentists' treatment decisions