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Dentistry – My Family Tradition

I come from a family of dentists – that’s just what we do.  My father has been practicing for nearly 40 years.   It is his hobby as well as his profession – he just loves dentistry.  Three of my younger brothers and I watched this passion and decided to follow in his footsteps. 

I was trained to perform traditional dental procedures in school, and continued my education over nights and weekends after graduating.  I couldn’t get enough!  I too grew to love this profession and thought I would work for forty years, just like my dad.   Then my health issues started.

It was nothing big at first, just some digestive issues.  I though it probably had something to do with what we were eating.  As a busy mom of four young kids, I realized our entire family could benefit from some changes.  A friend told me to look up green smoothies, and we started having a smoothie for breakfast.  I had to pay my kids to drink them for the first month, but the habit stuck!  I continued to change our diet and change my health habits.

Change Your Food – Change Your Life

This was a life changer for my family.  I was blown away at this whole new way of eating and looking at food.  It wasn’t just about calories or yumminess, it was about how we wanted to fuel our bodies.  Again, I couldn’t get enough and all of us noticed a difference in our health.  The kids didn’t get sick anymore, my husband dropped 10 pounds, and most of my digestive issues went away.   Things were looking up, but it wasn’t all better.

I continued having some nagging digestive issues, and more concerning, I was having numbness in my right arm and hand.  Many doctors and chiropractors later, no one had any answers for me.  Then my memory started to slip.  I’ve always had an excellent memory, and I felt like my brain was filled with fog.  What was going on??

I needed to find the answer, so I continued to learn about nutrition, and eventually ventured into alternative health.  I became a Therapeutic Nutritional Counselor to learn more. I tried muscle testing, energy work, Biofeedback, acupuncture, Infrared saunas, supplements, Homeopathy, Essential oils, Massage, Super foods… and on and on.  No changes.   It was tough to get out of bed each morning, let alone put on a happy face for 20-30 patients each day.  I was depressed, couldn’t remember things, had no energy and was ready to quit dentistry.

As a last effort, I decided to look into holistic dentistry.  Perhaps I could slow down and do nutritional counseling instead of dental procedures.  It would be easier on my body.   I found a successful holistic dentist and shared my story with him.  He sighed and said, “You sound just like me ten years ago.  Have you looked into mercury poisoning?”

Mercury Poisoning

I didn’t know what he was talking about.  I hadn’t placed a mercury filling in over 10 years (we call them amalgam, but any metal “silver” filling is 50% mercury).  He told me the problem isn’t when you place the filling, it’s when you remove it.  When a dentist removes an old mercury filling, it sends mercury vapors into the air.  I had been removing multiple mercury fillings every day for the last 10 years, without any sort of protection.  I had a very probably case of mercury poisoning.

After a heavy metal test, I found I did indeed have very high levels of mercury.  Finally an answer.   I started a lengthy detox program, and slowly felt my energy and my memory return.  I wondered what other harmful things were going on in my dental practice every day.  I realized I had come a long way in my understanding about nutrition. Now it was time for me to transition my dental practice into a place where I could restore health, not just fix teeth.

True to form, I couldn’t get my hands on information quickly enough. I bought every Holistic dental book on Amazon and tried to read them all in a week!  I studied programs and bought videos.  I searched research articles and started trying things in my practice.   My patients liked this change in focus, and it felt good.  I started enjoying dentistry again!

We still remove silver fillings in my practice, but we now take every precaution to keep both our patients and ourselves safe from the mercury vapors. It may look like we are ready to go scuba diving with our goggles and masks, but I can assure you that this is THE SAFEST  way to remove mercury fillings. I just wish I had known about it years ago!

A “Whole Body Approach” to Dentistry

Through all of this study, I learned two things.  

  1. There are a lot of myths and controversial subjects in dentistry, and most people are either far on the alternative side or far on the traditional side.  I couldn’t find many that ventured toward the middle.  
  2. The information is too technical and way too lengthy for most people to read.  Some of the books are over an inch thick.  I didn’t even want to read them- and I’m a dentist!

That’s when I decided I needed to share what I’ve learned. These are not the results of fancy research studies in an isolated lab, these are my results from day to day practice with people just like you.  This information is very personal to me, because the things I will share saved my health and my career.  I hope they can help you too.

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