Functional Dentistry goes beyond treating the signs and symptoms and instead determines the root cause of disease. It addresses the entire body as an integrated system rather than a collection of independent organs. Conventional dentistry might aim to simply treat decay with fillings, while Functional Dentistry delves into the risk factors promoted decay in the first place. Once risk factors are identified, specific recommendations can be made to mitigate those risks, fight disease, and create a state of health. Functional dentistry treats the whole system not just the symptoms.
Principles of Functional Dentistry
- Functional Dentistry aims to teach patients prevention strategies to help them avoid the need for future dental work
- Functional Dentistry recognizes the importance of the oral microbiome in both dental and systemic health and as such discourages the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes and toothpastes.
- Functional Dentistry recognizes the ability of enamel to remineralize and as such educates patients on diet and nutrition strategies to maximize the bodies natural remineralization process to avoid caries.
- Functional Dentistry works collaboratively with a variety of fields, including sleep medicine, myofunctional therapy, integrative specialities, and functional orthodontics in order to restore dental and systemic health.
- Functional Dentistry practices early intervention in pediatric patients because it recognized the importance of craniofacial complex and its contribution to overall health.
- Functional Dentistry embraces the latest scientific research as we continue to better understand the mouth-body connection and the relationship between dental diseases and the disease of the rest of the body.
- Functional Dentistry works to understand the impact of inflammation in the mouth and its impact on inflammation throughout the rest of the body.
- Functional dentistry is not just removing our patients’ symptoms; it’s empowering our patients to thrive
Functional Dentistry is championed by our mentor Dr. Mark Burhenne (@askthedentist). Check out his amazing website for even more information about the emerging study of functional dentistry.