Regular Dentists Vs. Functional Dentists in Lakewood, CO

In our day and age, it’s common to dismiss oral care in the day-to-day bustle of life. From groceries to soccer practice, visiting the dentist is typically the last thing on our minds. But when it is time to make that dental appointment, how can you be sure which type of dentist in Lakewood to choose? Here’s a full overview of traditional dentists vs. functional dentists in Lakewood, CO, and why functional dentistry is the better choice for your overall health and well being.

Traditional Dentists Vs. Functional Dentists in Lakewood, CO

In a nutshell, traditional dental care takes a drill-and-fill approach. With a traditional mindset, regular dentists focus solely on the tooth, filling cavities, and treating the symptoms. Functional dental care, on the other hand, focuses on treating the systems, not the solutions. Functional (or holistic) dentists look to discover the ‘why’ behind cavities, crooked teeth, etc., so as to prevent dental issues from happening again. At Fox Point Dental, we are proud to say that we’re a functional dental clinic. 

Approaches to Dental Treatments: Traditional Vs. Functional

Since traditional dentistry focuses on treating the symptoms with the teeth, gum, and other oral organs, and functional dentistry deals with the overall well-being of an individual, the procedures used in both forms of dentistry are different. Some of the differences between functional dentistry and traditional dentistry procedures include the following:

  • Fluoride treatment: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, rock, and other natural resources. It is used to strengthen the teeth and bones and is well used in traditional dentistry as a preventive measure. We always look at the individual patient to determine if fluoride is necessary!. This is because an overdose of fluoride can cause fluorosis and is toxic to the body. Rather, functional dentistry promotes the use of hydroxyapatite instead, which is made up of the same components of the tooth. 
  • Dental fillings: Mercury is a standard metal used by traditional dentists in dental fillings. Mercury has been shown to be toxic and pose a danger to your dental health. Functional dentists avoid it and instead use tooth-colored resin (mercury-free) to fill cavities instead.
  • X-rays: Functional dentists use digital X-rays instead of traditional X-rays. This is because digital X-rays expose you to 80% less radiation than conventional X-rays.
  • Biocompatible materials: Functional dentists always test every material used in their dental procedures to prevent adverse reactions.

Functional Dentistry and Our Overall Health

Functional dentists focus on overall health and the whole body, including the oral microbiome. Our mouths aren’t just made up of gums, teeth, and a tongue. They’re also made up of a unique community of microbes (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) – otherwise known as our oral microbiome. This microbiome produces vitamins, breaks down foods, fights infections, and more. Believe it or not, our mouths rely on this microbiome to remain balanced so that we can stay healthy. When our microbiome becomes unbalanced, it can wreak havoc on our overall health. 

It’s essential to maintain healthy habits that will ensure better oral health. Not only regular brushing and flossing but things that we do subconsciously. When it comes to breathing, we all do it every day, all the time. It is an unconscious part of life that we only notice when something is getting in the way of doing it efficiently. We all encounter short-term mouth breathing from time to time, especially when we’re suffering nasal congestion or a cold. We also tend to breathe through our mouths after exercising. However, when we begin to breathe through our mouth for an extended period, especially while at rest, we live long-term. The lips are usually parted with mouth breathing, and the tongue is either too low or too far back in the mouth. Regardless, it causes us to breathe through the mouth, which leads to detrimental effects on our health and development. 

Functional Dentistry and High-Tech, Minimally Invasive Treatments

Functional dentists provide high-tech, minimally invasive treatments. The goal isn’t to cut costs or time but to provide the best possible treatment for every patient. Here at Fox Point Dental, we have a functional approach to dentistry and use minimally invasive procedures such as digital x-rays. Digital radiology uses an electronic sensor that captures and stores the image on a computer rather than film. The image is accessible immediately and has high resolution so we can see problem areas more quickly. In addition, digital x-rays reduce radiation by 80-90% (compared to the low exposure of traditional dental x-rays). Not only is digital cavity-detecting radiology safer, but it’s also speedier and more accurate.

We also provide LightScalpel Carbon Dioxide Laser Surgery. This is a device that produces a concentrated beam of light. The highly focused CO2 laser beam vaporizes cleanly and precisely while sealing blood vessels at the same time. Since its inception in the 1960s, the CO2 laser has become a prevalent minimally invasive soft tissue surgery method. The CO2 laser remains the best surgical tool that simultaneously cuts soft tissue and stops bleeding from small blood vessels along its path. Both incision and reduction in bleeding are achieved in a non-contact fashion with a focused beam of light.

Functional Dentists in Lakewood, CO

We have a whole-body focus approach that allows us to help in preventing infections, keep an eye out for significant health issues, and provide tips for maintaining good oral health. Your oral health is tied directly to your overall health (learn more about your oral microbiome here), so any attention you provide to your mouth, teeth, and airway benefits your whole body. 

Our team is eager to guide and educate you on your oral health, best practices, and an overall happy mouth. Schedule an appointment with us! 

To learn more about our General Dentistry Services, visit this page here.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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