The Dental Connection: A New Paradigm for Dental Medicine

A new paradigm has been emerging in health care that focuses on the process of health and wellness instead of the treatment of disease. This new model is called by many names, such as; alternative medicine, complimentary medicine, holistic medicine, and functional or biological medicine. This new medicine embraces both modern science and knowledge drawn from the world’s great traditions of natural healing; many of them thousands of years old. Study of these traditions reveals certain truths that can be applied to promote health and well being. These basic principles form the foundation for all holistic health practices. Amongst these is the need for healthful nourishment, the elimination of toxins, and the maintenance of physical, mental and energetic balance.

When dis-ease is present it may be viewed as evidence of a disruption in the life force. Rather than just treating the consequences of dis-ease, the health centered practitioner is focused on finding the cause, and where possible assists the individual in reversing the disease process. Often the cause is traced to an individuals lifestyle, diet, environment, attitudes and beliefs, etc. Once the causative factors are known and eliminated the patients natural healing forces will resolve the illness. Healing occurs from within the individual, it can not be imposed upon them.

The science of biophysics has established that our bodies are quantum fields existing within the quantum field of the universe. In many cultures this has been known, and is expressed in ancient healing philosophies such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. In these traditions of natural healing the intent is to balance the flow of energy in the body and to develop higher levels of energetic integration throughout the system to create harmony between the individual and the world around them.

A holistically trained dentist views the mouth as a micro- environment of the body with the profound potential to reflect and influence the health of the whole person. Disruptions to the flow of energy through the mouth may affect remote regions of the body, and conversely, disruptions elsewhere may manifest in the mouth. This occurs because the energy of our life force flows through all regions of the body permitting each to function as a hologram of the body as a whole. This forms the scientific basis for many healing disciplines such as Acupuncture, Kinesiology, Auricular Therapy, Iridology, Reflexology, etc.

In Chinese medicine analysis of changes within the tongue permit diagnosis of one’s systemic condition. In the same way regions of the mouth and individual teeth are found to correspond to particular meridians and organ systems. As we evolve in our thinking and appreciation of the wholeness of our being, we begin to understand that what we view as the “mouth” is not limited to the teeth, gums, jaw, and associated Temporomandibular joints and jaw muscles.

Structural imbalance or disharmony within the jaw and bite an have profound influences through the body as a whole. These imbalances can have profound influences within the musculo-skeletal system, the central nervous system, as well as through the body’s electromagnetic energy circuits. As a consequence proper treatment of TMJ and bite problems often requires a holistic team to support balancing the body as whole as the dentist works with the bite either through orthodontics (braces) or with crown and bridgework.

In the past few years there has been a growing concern for the potential health hazards imposed by use of dental materials that include toxic compounds. The most common source of concern has been the mercury found in silver fillings. Mercury is one of the most toxic metals found in nature and is a major component of silver fillings {up to 50 %}.

Organized dentistry has been reluctant to acknowledge the potential problems of toxic materials used in the mouth. The truth is there are many variables. Each of us is different in the capacity of our body to eliminate toxins from our system. Because each of us presents a unique constitution it is important that materials to be used in our mouths be screened to insure bio-compatibility for us. Holistic dentists have a number of tools to use to do this. Sometimes blood tests may be used though they are not as precise as a simple biofeedback tests done with Muscle Response Testing, or tests done with electrodermal screening.

In the future healthcare will be truly that and not care focused on treatment of advanced disease, but intent on the preservation of health. As Charles Mayo the founder of the world famous Mayo clinic said in 1913;

“It falls upon the dentist and oral surgeon to study the diseased conditions of the mouth.The work is discouraging, but must be kept up, as eventually it will have its effect.The next great step in medical progress in the line of preventive medicine should be made by the dentists. The question is will they do it?” — Charles H. Mayo, MD, Dental Review 27 April 1913, 296-7

The Dentist and Dental Medicine Throughout History

The historical and archaeological record indicates that the first dental treatments occurred in what is now India around 7000 BCE. The teeth of recovered skulls revealed dramatic reshaping to correct malformed or damaged teeth. Just like your dentist, these ancient oral health professionals used drills to remove the damaged portions of teeth. However, because these ancient people did not understand germ theory or bacteria, they believed holes in teeth were caused by a small worm. In fact, this worm theory is found in records from all over the world including in Japan, China, and ancient Greece.

Further research revealed that fillings were also used in the ancient world as far back as 4500 BCE. This was determined by evidence of teeth repaired using bees wax. Ancient Greek texts indicate a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of oral health. Texts have revealed descriptions of teeth eruption from gums, treatments for gum disease and tooth rot, as well techniques for saving a loose tooth using wire, very similar to modern bridges or braces. In fact, dentistry was a carefully studied field in Rome, which created some of the first dental amalgams, very similar to the metal dental fillings you would get from a modern dentist.

Over time, the medical knowledge of multiple cultures began to converge, resulting in the creation of more comprehensive treatments for oral diseases and injuries. This movement includes the creation of tools built for the sole purpose of dental treatments or extractions. Despite these advancements, there were few true dentists and any treatments were performed by traditional physicians or barbers. A codified study of oral medicine did not begin until 1650 CE. This new study improved not only the quality of oral health procedures but also standardized practices and removed ineffective treatments. One of the most influential men during this period was Pierre Fauchard, who pioneered both prosthetics as well as the creation of a comprehensive oral anatomy text.

The modern dentist did not exist until the 20th century with the erection of dental colleges, which taught the most advanced techniques for both treatments and preventative practices. Especially in America, where modern technology is often embraced the fastest, oral health practices became common. Standardized products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss appeared on the market, which further improved smiles nationwide.

So, the next time you need your teeth cleaned or x-rayed, remember that you are participating in the same processes as your ancient ancestors, except now we have painkillers.

Pakistan’s Dental Schools

Studying dentistry in Pakistan takes four years for you to receive a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree. It is compulsory for you to attend one year internship before you can practice as a registered dentist in Pakistan. There are more than 20 dental schools in Pakistan recognized by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

University of Health Sciences
University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Lahore houses the De’Montmorency College of Dentistry, the first school of dentistry in Pakistan. It is the only university in Punjab province providing specialization in dental education. UHS controls and coordinates activities of all medical education, training and research centers in Punjab. About 34 dental colleges in Punjab are affiliated to UHS.

University of Health Sciences
Khayaban-e-Jamia Punjab
Lahore 54600
042 99231304 09

Karachi Medical and Dental College
Located in Sindh province, Karachi Medical and Dental College is the first medical college in Pakistan to be established and run by the city government. It is allowed to admit only 50 Bachelor of Dental surgery students in a year. It is the only institution in Sindh province that fully recognizes oral surgery and Orthodontic program for its postgraduate students. KMDC also has the best dental laboratories and library in the city of Karachi.

Karachi Medical and Dental College
F.B Area Block 16
Karachi 75950
+92 21 632 00200

Jinnah Medical and Dental College
Jinnah Medical and Dental College introduced its four year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program in 1999. The school is allied with the University of Karachi and graduates qualify to sit foreign qualifying exams such as USMLE-United States Medical Licensing Examination. Jinnah is permitted to admit only 50 BDS students in a year.

Jinnah Medical and Dental College
22-23 Shaheed-e-Millat Road
Karachi, Pakistan
+92 21 493 8031

Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine
Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine (AIDM) is a privately run institution with international affiliations. Founded in 2001, AIDM offers a four year degree program in Bachelor of Dental Surgery as well as post graduate programs and research facilities for its students. The faculty of Dentistry also carries out scientific research particularly in the latest dental technology in periodontology, implantology, dental laser therapy as well as cariology.

Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine
St-2B, Block 3 Shahra-e-Firdousi
Clifton Karachi 75600
+92 21 587 4070-71