At Whole-Body Dentistry, the initial examination of your mouth is quite comprehensive. We ask the patient to fill out a detailed health history and sign a sheet which informs them that our views concerning dental amalgams, fluoride and root canals are contrary to those of the American Dental Association.
Dr. Breiner then spends some time talking with the patient in a consultation room where you sit face to face. We want to know why they have come, what their symptoms are and what they hope to achieve. We also want to know how much research they have done into the area of holistic dentistry.
After the initial consultation, Dr. Breiner and the patient proceed to the examination room. The first exam performed is a cancer screening and evaluation of throat and tonsil health. In the US, 3.6% of all new cancers diagnosed are in the mouth -- some 40,000 new cases of oral cancer are reported yearly. The most frequent sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the gums and the lips. To assist in the cancer detection, we employ the latest test available. The patient rinses with a special solution that will show any pre-malignant and malignant areas when exposed to an advanced fiber optic glass light.
Furthermore, as part of your initial experience at Whole-Body Dentistry, we provide a thorough periodontal inspection which includes a gentle probing for pockets and microscopic periodontal inspection, which is rarely offered at other dental practices. Taking a plaque sample and looking at it under a microscope is critical to evaluating the patient's periodontal health and to monitor ongoing systemic and local treatment. This inspection tells us about periodontal infections. Studies show that patient's with periodontal disease have higher incidence of heart attack, stroke, and low birth-weight babies. Often this sort of gum inspection can clue us into the patients overall health.
In addition, each tooth is inspected for decay. To limit the amount of X-Ray exposure, a special transillumination light may be used to help detect cavities between the teeth. Also, a high-tech laser instrument called a Canary helps detect cavities that might otherwise go undetected.
Next we check to see if the patient has "silver" mercury amalgam fillings, root canals, chronic bone infections, and whether a misaligned bite could be affecting the mouth adversely. The temporomandibular joint and related muscles for chewing are examined for pain or tenderness. We also check to see if any teeth are loose. The patient is also tested for hypersensitivity where teeth have been removed, which could indicate that the area never properly healed.
We also take a panoramic X-ray, which is a screening X-ray of the entire mouth, including the entire jaw bones and sinuses. More detailed X-rays are taken of any suspicious areas. Four "bite-wing" or cavity-detecting X-rays are also taken.
The ‘whole-body’ approach sometimes leads to a slightly different interpretation of certain symptoms. For example, an area around a root canal done several years ago may appear radio-lucent (black) on an X-ray, at which point, traditional interpretation would indicate infection around the roots. But Whole-Body Dentistry recognizes that the so-called "infection" is most likely a positive immunological response by a healthy body to toxins coming from the dead tooth.
As part of the initial visit, some teeth may be checked to determine their vitality and general health. This process will give insight into whether teeth may be causing symptoms in other parts of the body besides the mouth. Sometimes muscle-testing is used to diagnose problems with teeth. If we can not tell which tooth is causing pain to the patient's upper right jaw, for example, each tooth in the area will be tested kinesiologically to see which one will cause a previously strong muscle to weaken. This type of testing has proved to be very accurate. Also, an initial electro-dermal screening is performed.
In addition, a Pertec instrument is used to measure the voltage and current of each metal restoration in the mouth. Dissimilar metals in a salt solution, like saliva, creates a battery. These electrical currents can have distant systemic effects.
Most patients find their initial visit at Whole-Body Dentistry far more thorough than what they have previously experienced at other dental practices. To learn more or schedule an initial visit, please speak with one of our highly trained staff members.