There is a changing paradigm in dentistry, not completely new, but one that fits the time. Forward thinking dentists are redirecting their focus from the repair of teeth to oral health conditions effecting the entire body. These issues include chronic infections, mercury and other heavy metal toxicities, periodontal disease, TMJ and chronic pro-facial pain, and sleep disordered breathing. Increasing evidence links these conditions to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, poor performance and learning, dementia, and even cancer.
Dentists who are cognizant of this important medical/dental connection are seeking collaboration with integrative physicians to provide appropriate interdisciplinary medical/dental solutions. Removing toxic metals from the mouth requires medical support to detoxify the body. Airway/sleep disorders (ASD) is a hidden, ubiquitous problem affecting all parts of our society. ASD effects the brain, immune system, and ANS and other vital functions. ASD is often expressed in the form of one or more of the prevalent chronic diseases and syndromes today. Treatment of a manifestation of ASD can provide relief, but not necessarily long term benefits. Without recognition of the underlying problem, ASD will be present again in another form. Integrative dentists and healthcare practitioners of ACAM are the ideal collaborators in co-diagnosis and co-treatment.
For over 20 years our practice, the Hindin Center for Whole Health Dentistry had been located adjacent to Michael Schachter’s office. My son Jeff, his wife Jill, and I have utilized the resources available next door and from other complementary physicians in the area for the benefit of our patients and practice.
I am honored to be the first dentist elected to the ACAM Board. I have always promoted the medical/dental connection. I have done this in the past as president of the Foundation for Innovative Medicine, (FAIM) and as the Founder of the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry (AAPMD), and now as a ACAM Board member. I look forward to the day where every integrative dentist will have a close working relationship with a complementary physician. Expanded programs for interdisciplinary education and training are needed to better understand the connections and develop protocols for co-diagnosis and co-treatment. I look forward to bringing our AAPMD resources to a collaborative relationship with ACAM for the benefit of our memberships and our patients.