The concept of ‘holistic dental care’ — In conversation with Dr Urvashi Pandey
We spoke to Dr Urvashi Pandey from lotusdental.com.au about the concept of holistic dental care — what it is, and how it can help you and your teeth to be happier and healthier. Lotus Dental is the culmination of a passionate vision she held for many years: a practice dedicated to integrative dentistry in the context of holistic health, extending beyond the normal “square box” of dentistry.
What was it about Lotus dental that drew you to work here?
I had a vision of working at a practice where I grew as a professional and I could get inspired and inspire my patients and colleagues to be better humans and clinicians. At Lotus dental, there has always been a modern and integrative approach to treating patients and it resonated with me. Dr King, the founder of lotus dental has been a great mentor, friend and my business partner.
What is holistic dentistry?
Holistic dentistry, simply explained, is not just treating the mouth and teeth but looking at the rest of the human being attached to the teeth. Understanding the effects of posture and breathing, on teeth and Jaw development and sleep. Using biocompatible materials, understanding that the oral microbiome reflects the gut microbiome and how it all ties in the person’s overall health. It uses modern technology but focuses on minimal intervention and prevention.
How important is holistic dentistry in our daily lives?
My job as a holistic dentist is to educate and empower my patients. When they understand the mouth-body connection, they incorporate daily practices and make some positive lifestyle changes.
What are some of the simple issues in people’s lives that can be linked to dental health?
Understanding that mouth breathing, tongue ties, incorrect tongue and lip posture in children are responsible for most of them needing braces. These habits must be identified and treated at an early age. for example- if a patient has a narrow airway, it could be contributing to sleep apnoea, or if a patient is severely tongue-tied or a mouth breather, they would most likely have narrow jaws and crowded teeth, needing an orthodontic intervention. Holistic dentistry is all about treating the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms, for example, if a patient is clenching or grinding their teeth in their sleep(bruxism), just making an oral splint or a night guard is not enough. Finding out the root cause and treating it is important. This knowledge can be life changing for patients.
Do you have any memorable stories about creating smiles at lotus dental?
Many patients think a Holistic dentist cannot be a cosmetic dentist or may not be in touch with the most modern advances in dentistry. They are pleasantly surprised to not just have healthy gums and oral microbiome but also have a beautiful smile. I have so many memorable stories but I am most happy when I see very ill and medically compromised patients getting better informed, and healthier after addressing their oral health and that’s why I love what I do.
How has COVID -19 impacted on how lotus dental does business?
We have always followed universal precautions and we are an accredited practise by the Australian Dental Association. Our reception staff screens all our patients over the phone the day before their appointment by asking relevant questions. We follow the guidelines by the Dental board. During April, May 2020 COVID 19 was at its peak and we were restricted to only seeing emergency patients but now all dental procedures have resumed as normal.
What are the three simple ways people can integrate holistic dentistry into their lives?
- Firstly, by paying attention to healthy nutrition, eating fewer sugars and processed foods and eating more whole foods and healthy fats and also making sure they are breathing through their nose and not mouth breathing.
- Secondly seeing a holistic dentist every 6 months so that early-stage decay can be picked up
- Using remineralizing toothpastes and maintaining flossing once a day and brushing teeth twice daily
What are the ways that Lotus dental is changing?
There are many exciting things in the pipeline for the near future. We are investing in some new state of the art equipment such as intraoral scanners, CBCT Machine and Lasers in Dentistry. Our entire team is rather special, and we have planned some exciting team building and fun days together.
For more, visit; lotusdental.com.au