Holistic dentists are simply traditionally trained dentists that have adopted a holistic approach to the way they practice dentistry. They should have graduated from an accredited dental school and may have received supplemental education in holistic and natural medicine. Holistic or biological dentists do have their own group associations. Your dentist should belong to one of them. Though this is no guarantee of anything, by belonging to any of these associations, your biologically aware dentist is declaring that he adheres to their practice guidelines. You should note, that belonging to these groups is completely voluntary, and that there is no requirement that they must belong to any of them.
International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine
The IABDM was created in 1985 and is comprised of physicians, dentists and associated health practitioners. They have a Standard of Care statement that they state is a “living document”, which means it is an ever changing document and is continually discussed and revised. This is encouraging because it suggests that the association and its members are open to revisions of their practices, based on new findings in the scientific community. It suggests an atmosphere of open-mindedness and progressive thinking.
IABDM also requires members to obtain certification in order to become a member. They have different levels of certification to account for different levels of expertise and experience. The certifications range from a basic level to master. Testing and submission of case studies or articles, plus community service hours, are required to be certified at the higher levels.
This is not just an association that one can pay a fee to and gain membership. The practitioners must demonstrate certain levels of knowledge and participate in other activities in order to join.
Holistic Dental Association
The HDA has been providing direction and guidance to dentists and patients alike since 1978. They focus on educating both physicians and laypersons about the benefits of holistic dentistry. To gain membership, one must be a licensed dentist, hygienist, member of dental staff or a practitioner from a related health care field. An application must be submitted and a fee paid. There are no certification tests to be submitted as there is with the IABDM.
They have an online directory where you can locate an HDA affiliated dentist in your area.
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
The IAOMT was founded in 1984 by a group of dentists, a doctor and a lawyer. The academy was formed after the group had attended a seminar discussing the dangers of mercury in fillings. They were all in agreement that this was an issue that was important enough to them, that they wanted to be proactive and educate the public and doctors alike, on the importance of a holistic medical approach, specifically in dentistry. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology offers an accreditation process for their members, though it is not a requirement for membership. Physicians can simply pay a fee for a membership or choose to become accredited through testing. The academy also offers continuing education for its members. They also are a great resource for patient educational information.
San Diego Dental Services: http://sandiegodentist.org