Biological Dentistry FAQs
- How is a Biological Dentist different from a regular dentist?
A biological dentist tends to look at procedures/materials and how they affect the whole body, knowing that the teeth are tied into the rest of the body. They don’t view dentistry as just a mechanical procedure.
- Will my treatment be covered under my dental insurance?
Yes, in general much of the work can be covered if properly billed, but keep in mind that most non-standard dental issues are typically not covered. When not covered, a prioritization plan can be set up, so that necessary work gets done over time.
- I have [tinnitus, high blood pressure, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, arthritis, etc]. health problem. Would correcting my dental issues resolve this health problem?
If an individual has a history of dental issues, there is always a corresponding impact on the whole body. We look at what is going on in the mouth first.
- Biological dentistry as you describe it makes a lot of sense. Why aren’t more dentists practicing it?
Dental schools are slow to change; there is lots of resistance to change at the institutional and legal levels. Most graduates do not get exposed to biological dentistry principles until after school—and frequently through questions from patients. And in general, dentists tend to be more conservative. So many times a dentists’ education in biological dentistry is driven by patients’ research.
- I have severe jaw pain (TMJ), and my current dentist is giving me [name of drug]. Could Biological Dentistry help?
Yes. Although, biological dentists would look at the problem more holistically. They would look at biochemistry, emotional-spiritual issues, diet and lifestyle changes, and collaboration with other medical professionals, such as dentists who make specific appliances to help.
- Can you describe how you test for reactive materials in my mouth?
Biocompatibility of dental materials uniquely imprints material of choice. There are four tests: Lyphocyte Fragility Test (substitute) where blood is drawn, and lymphocyte is extracted and put in a culture medium to grow, then different dental materials are put in to see if it reacts. If the cell membrane breaks, then the material tested would not be recommended. Electro-Dermal Testing uses a sample of dental materials (from 500 materials) from a kit obtained from the dentist. Each material is tested in a tray in the computer while you hold an electrode in your hand, and a computer printout is produced with results, which you can take to any dentist. O-Ring Test – This test is done looking at the resistance of your hand or finger as feedback while testing different dental materials from a kit. And lastly, there is the Melissa test which is basically a blood draw to see what materials your body reacts to, such as allergies to gold. For example, there are upwards of 10% of patients that react to metal.
- How important is it to have all the mercury fillings removed from my mouth? I heard this will cost thousands and it is not covered by insurance.
Removing mercury from your mouth is not sustainable in several ways. First, it is not sustainable for the body. ‘Silver’ fillings are really composed of 50% mercury and only 35% silver. As the fillings wear down over time, the mercury gets into your tissues. Especially smokers, whose diet is more acidic, have a greater chance of metals leaching out from the fillings and with a low-level accumulation over time, can result in a critical mass of toxicity. Note that 60-70% of total body burden of mercury comes from filings. Secondly, using mercury in any way is not a sustainable practice for the environment. It can be covered by insurance if, for example, a filling is old and needs to be replaced anyways.
- I had two root canals put in 30 years ago. Sometimes I get pain and swelling in those areas, which comes and goes. Would you recommend removing the root canal work, and if so, how would replace them?
A root canal is a dead tooth in a living system and the body knows that. The body will respond to a low-level chronic irritation at the bottom of the tooth. Usually we do not recommend removing root canals, but it depends on the individual, and if you have a strong immune system to begin with, you can live with them. If necessary, there are three options to replace a root canal: a fixed bridge, a removable partial bridge, or a metal implant.
Dr. Michael Lipelt, founder and practitioner at Stillpoint Family Health Services received his Doctor in Dental Surgery at the University of Pacific, School of Dentistry and his California State Dental License in 1975. In addition, he studied Biological Dentistry in Germany in 1986, and was a founding member of the American Academy of Biological Dentistry (AABD). He has practiced and taught Biological Dentistry now for over 20 years, while integrating it with other holistic healing methods.