Environmental Dentistry

Questions and Answers

What is environmental dental medicine?

One of the main concerns of environmental dentists is the comprehensive dental treatment of chronically ill patients, as well as the application of individual preventive treatment concepts with the aim to prevent or relieve chronic inflammatory diseases, even far away from the oral cavity.

Why Environmental Dental Medicine?

Today, modern medicine largely controls the epidemics of earlier years, such as Tuberculosis or hepatitis, but chronic inflammatory diseases are becoming increasingly important. Millions of people in Germany suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases. These include allergies, diabetes, rheumatism, gastric, intestinal or thyroid diseases, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, periodontal disease and other chronic infections just to mention the most important ones.

Inflammatory diseases are the »epidemic of the modern age«. The advances in high-performance medicine have reduced the complications of the diseases but not their frequency. Especially in younger patients, the diagnoses are increasingly made. The rate of allergies in Germany has doubled in the last 20 years, to name just one example.

Why are these diseases becoming more common?

It is undisputed that inflammation, that is the activation of our immune system, is the key to almost all systemic diseases, either directly or indirectly through a negative influence on immune function or biochemical processes. Genetics alone does not explain the rapid increase in inflammatory diseases. It is known today that a large number of individual triggering stimuli and cofactors are important causes of chronic inflammatory diseases. In our modern society, we have to deal more and more often and with ever more complex foreign substances, which in sum represent the trigger of inflammation and thus on the ground genetic Structures and biochemical changes that cause “common diseases”. Unfortunately, modern medicine also contributes its part. Interference with human biological integrity has become an almost daily routine. This refers to foreign materials in the field of dentistry, orthopedics or surgery, drug and hormonal therapies, treatments that strengthen or weaken the immune system. Often one forgets that every intervention in the organism has effects on the entire body. Unfortunately, the specialization in medicine means that side effects and secondary diseases are often not recognized unless they are directly related to the specific organ system of one’s own discipline.

These developments are not without consequences for modern dental medicine

Dentists are forced to permanently introduce foreign materials into their patients’ bodies. However, any material can be a persistent irritant for chronic inflammation because it interacts with the organism. On the other hand, dentists are also confronted with the situation that more and more of their patients already suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases. With them, they must search specifically for incompatible materials or disruptive factors and avoid additional inflammatory stimuli so as not to accelerate the existing disease process.

Is dentistry facing this problem?

Many dentists have now recognized their responsibility. They have acquired knowledge on certified training courses that goes far beyond what is taught in the study of dentistry at the universities. They know the general medical illnesses and see the connections between the oral cavity and the organs. They have been involved in toxicology, immunology, allergology and materials science and can use the full range of diagnostic capabilities to increase patient safety. Many of you have been awarded the qualification as environmental dentist after successful completion of the curricula. They work in the network, because they have recognized that they can solve complex issues only in cooperation with other disciplines. In the preparation of a treatment plan, a teamwork of the various medical divisions is aimed at, on the one hand in the diagnostic clarification avoids repetitive examinations and on the other hand tunes the therapeutic path to each other and thus intensified.

What does this mean for the patient?

The environmental dental medicine is thus often a lifeline for the chronically ill patient. Following an in-depth survey of the overall health situation, the oral cavity is searched for factors that can trigger an inflammatory process through sustained toxicological or immune activation. This can be as simple things as displaced wisdom teeth, a hitherto unnoticed chronic toothache disease, previously unrecognized inflammation of root tips, one or more root-dead teeth or immunologically unsuitable for the patient filling, crown, bridge, prosthesis or implant material , But also binding materials such as adhesives and cements can not be to be underestimated confounding factors. All this is to find out about toxicological, immunological and environmental medical expertise. But diagnosis alone is not enough.

It is also important that the dentist knows what the problematic material can be replaced. He has to clarify in advance whether sensitization or individual incompatibility with the newly introduced denture material is present. Otherwise, there is a possibility for the patient to get off the “rain”. The environmental dentist will also pay attention to the interactions between new and old materials. Beginning with the planning of new dentures, the environmental dentist works hand in hand with qualified dental technicians.

Environmental dentistry is an important addition to dental art. The environmental dentist is a competent partner for the chronically ill as well as healthy people when they are not only concerned with aesthetics and functionality, but also with a generally sound dental treatment ,

Heavy metal pollution

For 20 years now I have been dealing with the problem of heavy metal pollution and other ill effects of the oral cavity.

The metals (eg amalgam, palladium, gold and titanium) are not the sole materials in the oral cavity. As the number of patients, e.g. For aesthetic reasons, no longer want visible metal supplies, the tooth-colored materials have gained more importance. These consist of plastics, ceramics, cements and their mixtures with each other.

For this reason, I completed additional training as an environmental dentist – a new field of dentistry. Unfortunately, this new field, which is still poorly understood, focuses precisely on the problems of material and environmental pollution, which are on the increase.

There is no place that contains a greater variety of different loading parameters, such as the oral cavity. There prevail permanent moisture, bacterial colonization, high pressure conditions on the materials during chewing and / or grinding at night, galvanic elements, if different metal alloys are used and strong temperature differences. All these parameters ensure a continuous delivery of material into the oral cavity and thus into the digestive tract. Depending on the situation of the individual immune system, this can lead to a more or less strong sensitization, which in turn can result in an incompatibility with certain materials.

Fortunately, there are – derived from the field of environmental medicine (for example, by exposure to mold, wood preservatives, etc.) – now investigative methods that detect such a burden. For the safe evaluation of these methods, a sound knowledge of the therapist about the interaction of the various o. G. Factors and different materials necessary to the immune system. This knowledge will be taught in special training to the dentists who are interested in this topic and the success of this training with a corresponding diploma confirmed.

I am very glad that recognized environmental medicine has now taken up this subject and that my findings of the last decades, which I have been able to prove with other alternative diagnostic methods, finally has been linked and confirmed with the methods of this department. It was therefore a matter of course for me to provide this education and training and successfully finish it with a diploma.

Due to the high value of this training, I am now even better able to offer you competent support in my practice. Just the allergy rate in Germany has risen twice in the last 20 years, to name just one example.

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