While we are all trained general dentists at Sullivan Dental Center, the three of us — Dr. Frank Sullivan, Dr. Couvillon, and Dr. Candice Sullivan — are also holistic dentists. That’s because we believe your oral health is intrinsically connected with your overall health. You’ll notice the difference in our approach when you look at the services we offer. Of course, you’ll find traditional dental procedures such as placing dental implants, creating prosthetics such as bridges and examining you for oral cancer during your routine cleanings and exams. But you’ll also find services such L-PRF therapy for speeding healing, treatment of TMJ and orofacial myofunctional disorder, oxygen/ozone therapy for infection control, and a focus on safely removing old silver amalgam fillings.
We believe your oral health is part of a far bigger picture than what can only be seen when you open your mouth and say “ah.”
What is a holistic dentist?
Holistic dentistry is simply an alternative approach with a wider focus. All of us are traditionally trained Doctors of Dental Medicine. But by including a holistic focus, it helps the team at Sullivan Dental Center look beyond a procedure, and consider the overall health of the patient. Holistic dentistry focuses on using biocompatible, non-toxic materials such as composite resin fillings instead of silver amalgam. It strives to eliminate infections with new methods such as oxygen/ozone therapy. It looks at the overall alignment of the jaw, head, and neck, and how that alignment or misalignment is adversely affecting the patient beyond his or her dental health. And while many dentists are moving away from amalgam fillings, we are trained in the careful handling and removal of these fillings to best protect your health.
holistic dentistry vs. traditional dentistry
There is not a formal designation of holistic dentistry. To us, it’s more a mindset that looks at your overall health as a patient, not simply your oral health. Sure, we start with the mouth, but we think beyond it.
That’s why we don’t use silver amalgam for filling teeth. Yes, it’s been used for 150 years and the FDA says it’s safe. But we know exposure to mercury isn’t good for anyone. Other practices may talk about moving away from silver amalgam, but we not only don’t amalgam (which is made up of around 50 percent mercury) we are also trained in how to safely remove these fillings from your teeth.
Our holistic approach allows us to evaluate your symptoms of jaw pain without necessarily looking first for tooth decay. What is the relationship between your masseter muscles that control chewing and the alignment of your bite? Maybe you don’t have tooth decay, maybe you have TMJ.
This whole-body approach is the difference between thinking like a traditional dentist and thinking holistically.
How does holistic dentistry help your body?
At Sullivan Dental Center, our focus on holistic dentistry impacts our patient health in many ways. We don’t simply “perform” procedures such as placing a dental implant or removing decay from a tooth. We look at how an implant procedure can be helped by L-PRF therapy to grow new jawbone mass. By understanding TMJ disorder and orofacial myofunctional disorder, we have more expertise in areas far outside traditional dentistry. This can allow us to diagnose conditions that other dentists don’t see. What’s the value of a good night’s sleep? By studying and learning about sleep apnea, we can help our patients overcome their obstructed airways either through oral appliances or CPAP therapy.
We believe our holistic approach enables the team at Sullivan Dental Center to offer our patients a wider understanding of potential oral health problems and how they impact overall health.
holistic practices Offered
You could say everything we offer is holistic, but that’s maybe too simplistic. Our focus beyond a single tooth or cavity does run across everything we do, but specifically, these are some of the holistic practices we provide:
- L-PRF therapy
- Neuromuscular dentistry
- Oxygen/ozone therapy
- Myofunctional therapy
- Removal of silver amalgam fillings
- Dental Oncology
- Sleep Apnea Treatment
What is L-PRF Therapy?
When it comes to our patients’ healing capabilities during dental implant procedures and when bone grafting, we like to increase the odds. To do that, we utilize L-PRF therapy. L-PRF stands for leukocyte-platelet rich fibrin. Leukocytes are also known as white blood cells, the workhorse of the immune system. Platelets are the part of blood that enables clotting and healing. Fibrin helps platelets create blood clots.
A blood sample is taken, roughly the same as in a routine blood test. We place the blood in a centrifuge to separate out the white blood cells, platelets and fibrin. The end result is a bioactive clot created from your own blood, but rich in healing power.
We can then place this L-PRF clot in the surgery site. By incorporating an L-PRF clot when placing the implant in the socket of the former tooth root, we speed the body’s process of initiating jawbone growth around the implant. L-PRF is also very helpful when we need to augment jawbone mass through bone grafting.
What is oxygen/ozone therapy?
Infection control is critical for any dental procedure. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because the oral cavity is mix of microorganisms. While these microorganisms are crucial for a healthy mouth, they can also lead to infection. To counter this, we use oxygen/ozone therapy. When introduced into the infected area, this creates what is clinically known as a “transient oxidative burst.” The microorganisms have no natural defense against this reaction, so they are overstressed and die. We are using oxygen/ozone therapy to disinfect the area.
The oxidative burst induces a multitude of natural biochemical and physiologic reactions. The following are benefits of oxygen/ozone therapy:
- Better blood flow
- More rapid healing response
- Enhanced immune response
- No allergic reaction (as can happen with antibiotics)
At Sullivan Dental Center, we use oxygen/ozone therapy for these procedures:
- Periodontal disease
- Root canals
- Tooth decay/fillings