When we talk about biological dentistry, we’re supporting a philosophy that promotes a whole body approach to healthcare that works with the body and its immune system. As a dentist, my initial concern in treating the oral cavity is to remove dental decay and infection along with supporting periodontal health. However, as a biological dentist, I know that the mouth is an extension of the entire body. The negative or positive effects from the teeth and gums can be felt throughout the body.Biological dentistry evaluates each patient as an individual who requires special needs based on his or her unique make-up. The term biocompatibility is used quite frequently in biological dentistry to describe the importance in choosing specific dental materials that appear best suited for each patient.Fact or fiction? The choice of dental materials used in the mouth does not have any effect on your health in general. Although biological dentists do not use mercury in their practices, this still is a controversial topic that persists in dentistry today. In June 2008, the FDA issued a precautionary note on silver fillings (which consists of approximately 50% mercury): “Silver dental fillings contain mercury, and the government for the first time is warning that they may pose a safety concern for pregnant women and young children.”As is often the case, the FDA lags far behind a large amount of scientific study that is clear on this topic. Therefore, if the FDA is finally making even this mild of a statement, it’s a pretty sure bet that there’s truth to this message. Pregnant women and children are more susceptible to attacks on one’s immune system than others. However, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us don’t suffer some form of ill health due to the same attacks on our bodies.An even stronger statement of evidence comes from my patients in their own words. Their experiences and the changes they’ve gone through show what really matters when someone’s health is at stake. In 1998 I began asking my patients to give me their personal feedback regarding the condition of their general health and well being once their mercury fillings were replaced with alternative materials.Since that date, I’ve recorded over 250 testimonials from our patients. Although, due to my study of the subject I knew there would be some changes, the responses that I received still surprised me at first. However, now I’m confident that each and every testimonial provides further evidence that the oral cavity plays an important role in total body health. Is mercury a biocompatible material that can be used safely in the oral cavity? Or is it one of many factors that weaken our immune systems?The following testimonials are what some of my patients have reported in regards to the mercury issue:Metallic taste gone. Annetta, 78, Female. I noticed metallic taste was gone after mercury fillings were out. My complexion was much better. I have more energy, no more allergies or sinus problems.Medical conditions improve. Gloria, 56, Female. Since my amalgam fillings were removed a number of medical conditions have improved: Anxiety and depression have eased and lifted. Big improvements in my ability to concentrate. Big improvements in the pain and fatigue from the fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. This has all come to pass since this dental work was done, in spite of working a high stress retail management job with weird hours and great physical demands.Sinus problems improve. Ivan, 58, Male. Before I had the metals (mercury fillings) removed I had all kinds of sinus problems. Since they are gone the sinus problems are nil – one year later.More energy – less headaches. Susan, 56, Female. Since my mercury fillings were removed, life has improved so much that it is hard to remember what it was like before. I still need 8-9 hours of sleep most nights, but I no longer need a 2-3 hour nap every day – I no longer need 20 minute cat naps every couple of hours. I go weeks without headaches instead of days. I can focus and retain much more information I don’t catch every cold I’m exposed to – I haven’t had any bronchial infections or yeast infections – they were chronic before. As I approach my sixties I definitely feel better than I did in my thirties.Fact or fiction? Biological dentistry offers a healthy choice for patients not only for their mouths but also for their overall health and wellness. Although there are no guarantees, I believe the results that I’m witnessing from patients support this statement.The body is a compensatory system that is designed to heal if given the opportunity. If there is a sensitivity or biological imbalance to the use of mercury or any other material in the oral cavity, then it simply makes sense that these individuals begin to feel better once the offending source is removed.Our patients make informed decisions regarding their health based on all the scientific research, medical literature and patient testimonials that are presented to them for review.As a heath care provider, if we see an opportunity to help our patients improve their health, it is our professional obligation to do so. It is our obligation, as dentists, to investigate new opportunities that provide a holistic and biological support system aimed at improving people’s lives now and in their years to come.