Biological Dentistry vs. Holistic Dentistry: What’s the Difference?

“Treat the whole person, not the symptoms” is a common philosophy among biological dentistry and holistic dentistry. Both of these dental philosophies keep in mind the overall health of a person and focus on more than just a person’s oral health. 

So, what’s the difference between biological dentistry and holistic dentistry? If you’re searching for a dentist, then you may be curious to discover the answer to this question. 

Holistic healing is a recent movement that a large portion of the U.S. is embracing wholeheartedly. Holistic healing is all about treating the entire body and the entire person. It recognizes that different facets of health and wellness are connected. 

Holistic healing also supports and encourages preventative measures. It asserts that the best path to wellness is taking care of yourself before a problem occurs. If a health concern does arise, holistic healers seek out the root of the problem to treat. Their treatment goal is to cure the root of the ailment and not just the symptoms. 

Dentists have also taken on various holistic philosophies. But, is there a true difference between biological dentistry and holistic dentistry? Read on to find out key differences between these dental philosophies. 

Biological Dentistry vs. Holistic Dentistry

Both biological dentistry and holistic dentistry proponents believe in a whole approach to health. However, some slight differences are notable in their whole-health approach. 

A whole-health approach is beneficial to all patients, not just dental patients. By looking at dentistry from this angle, we can see how it helps to prevent and treat other conditions not related to traditional dentistry. 

Dental problems come in many forms. Cavities, toothaches, and gum disease are all common, but few people truly understand why these problems occur. This may cause them to seek out toothache remedies and other treatments that align with their own beliefs about health.

And, while traditional dentistry may focus on brushing, flossing, and fillings exclusively, biological and holistic dentistry take an alternative approach. 

These dentists do advocate for preventative treatments, but they also take into account diet, education, and emotional health. For example, a holistic and biological dentist may look to also address self-esteem issues that arise from poor dental health.

Explore the following differences between biological and holistic dentistry to determine which is a better fit for you.

1. Patients

One major difference between biological dentistry and holistic dentistry may be the patient population. People who are interested in holistic health may be open to more alternative treatments such as spiritual and energetic healing methods. Patients of biological dentists will likely appreciate a whole-health approach, but may not be interested in alternative forms of healing the body.

Marketing practices may also be different among biological dentistry and holistic dentistry. This can also affect their target audiences and patient populations. For example, holistic dentists may aim to target individuals who believe in natural healing and medical alternatives. 

Biological dentists may instead seek out people who are concerned with whole health and safe practices related to dentistry. 

It’s important to note, however, that both forms of dentistry use similar treatment options for current oral health problems. 

2. Associated Organizations

Holistic dentistry and biological dentistry are associated with different organizations. Holistic dentistry is associated with the Holistic Dental Association. Biological Dentistry is associated with the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine

To be a part of these associations, dentists will need to apply for membership. Once they are members, they have access to other medical professionals, information, and resources. This helps them to improve their dental practice and learn more about new advances in dentistry.

3. Treatment Options

Both holistic and biological dentistry believe in a minimally invasive approach to dentistry. They also believe that the safest materials should always be used. For example, both organizations don’t believe in the use of mercury fillings because of the potential of toxicity in the rest of the body. 

This sometimes can make both sections of dentistry seem interchangeable. In fact, a biological dentist may practice similar healing techniques as a holistic dentist. Both also believe in biocompatibility testing for all materials used during oral health procedures.

However, a dentist that associates with holistic dentistry may be more inclined to offer alternative treatment options. But, a biological dentist can also be well-versed in these treatment options and be an expert. The only difference may be how the dentist identifies themselves and how their treatment processes and options work. 

4. Marketing

The biggest difference between biological and holistic dentistry is simply marketing. These two organizations are associated with different marketing strategies.

A holistic dentist may use different language to market. They may also emphasize energetic healing, natural healing, and spiritual healing when reaching patients. 

Biological dentists may market to patients in a more traditional manner while still emphasizing their whole-health approach. They may or may not emphasize spiritual healing and emotional healing depending on their beliefs. Ultimately, it’s up to the dentist to decide which marketing strategy they use. 

The main factor that will determine the difference between their marketing strategies is their association with either organization. 

Biological Dentistry VS Holistic Dentistry: Finding a Dentist Near You

There are only subtle differences between biological dentistry and holistic dentistry. However, the final decision as to which is best will be completely determined by your preferences and needs. 

Keep in mind that nearly any dentist can call themselves a holistic or biological dentist. What matters most is the way they approach dentistry and their treatment options and practices. To determine if a dentist is truly a holistic or biological dentist, ask them more about their treatments and overall dental philosophy.

You can also go to each association’s website to see if a dentist is registered to either organization. 

Your oral health matters to all dentists. But, if you’re interested in a whole-health approach, both biological and holistic dentists can help to achieve your health goals. If you want the extra benefit of spiritual and energetic healing, then holistic dentistry is likely a better fit. 

Want to learn about dental emergencies you should never ignore? Check out our website to learn more about the signs of a dental emergency.