Natural dentistry is an alternative approach to dental practice using the guiding principle that the mouth's health is inextricably connected to the health of the rest of the body, according to Health Centered Dentistry and the Center for Natural Dentistry. Natural dentists often do not perform standard dental procedures such as using mercury for fillings, performing root canals, and recommending the ingestion of fluoride, arguing that these practices can have detrimental effects on the rest of the body later.
In general, standard dentistry is concerned primarily with the health of the teeth and gums, while natural or holistic dentistry seeks to provide dental treatment that is good for the whole body, not just the mouth, according to the Center for Natural Dentistry. Natural dentists go through the same training and have the same qualifications as standard dentists, says Health Centered Dentistry. There are no separate schools for holistic and standard dentistry, and whether a dentist chooses to practice standard dentistry or take a more holistic approach is largely a matter of his personal philosophy. The dividing line between standard dentists and natural dentists is often a blurry one, notes the Center for Natural Dentistry. Some dentists follow most standard dental procedures but do not believe in using mercury fillings, for example.