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Article by David Cowhig

Holistic Dentistry

Radiant smiles that reflect your inner health

Hi, my name is Dr David Cowhig and I am the founder of dental wellness - a purpose designed and built holistic dentistry practice
located at The Gap in Brisbane’s inner west.

With over 20 yrs experience in the field, I have been sharing my holistic philosophy to help patients achieve radiant smiles that reflect inner health.

A healthy mouth not only improves the beauty of your smile, but has a major contribution in prevention of risks factors for most of the common chronic diseases of the day such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes to name a few.

So what is Holistic Dentistry?

It is the integration of natural health philosophies with up to date dental practices.

Holistic Dentistry includes all aspects of general and cosmetic dentistry but also draws from the philosophies of complementary and progressive medicine to provide a complete level of care.

Dental procedures are conducted using the most advanced techniques with safe, biocompatible materials that give excellent results while ensuring minimal impact upon the body during treatment and into the future.

Dental wellness is unique in Brisbane as the only practice with two leading holistic Dentists.

Our team works with like-minded health practitioners such as Naturopaths, Chiropractors and Paediatric Orthodontists to encourage good mouth and gut health which in turn reflects in radiant smiles.

It is important to realise that your choice of dentist and treatment received, may have a major effect on your long term health.

Many of my professional colleagues may disagree with me about the concerns I have with Mercury in your silver fillings. They are made up of 50% Mercury and there is a risk of excess exposure of this toxic heavy metal poison when these fillings are drilled out of your mouth.

Even when in your mouth, silver fillings release small amounts of mercury vapour when heated, chewed on, or ground on at night.

The W.H.O has stated there is NO safe levelof Mercury exposure. When drilled out of your mouth there is a potential liberation of
mercury vapour and fine particles that can be inhaled and absorbed through your lungs.

Signs of Mercury toxicity range from forgetfulness, dizziness and tremors to confusion, reduced intellect and anger.

Oral signs of foul breath, metallic taste and bleeding gums.

It is important to ask your dentist what their position is on Mercury in silver fillings is.

I would be concerned if you hear…..

“I don’t think Mercury in your fillings is a big deal, but I will happily take it out of your mouth for you.”

Dental wellness is a mercury safe practice

At Dental wellness, if we are removing one of your silver mercury fillings, the tooth is isolated with a rubber dam so you don’t swallow any remnants or amalgam dust, a separate oxygen source is placed over your nose so there is minimal inhalation of any mercury vapour, and finally an evacuation system is placed near the working surface to remove any potential harmful inhalation by yourself, the dentist and the assistant.

When mercury amalgam scraps go up the high volume suction they are collected in a filter system to stop it going down into the drainage system polluting our waterways.

It is ILLEGAL for any dentist to throw silver mercury filling scraps into the bin and they must have it removed from the facility as TOXIC waste.

Achieving optimal health and how holistic dentistry can help

... we start by reducing further dental disease

If you are striving for optimal health and wellbeing for a long happy life, you need to address any oral inflammation, infection, potential toxicity and poor function. You may also need to change your diet to reduce your risk of further dental disease.

A hygienist is an essential part of a 21st Century dental practice. Studies have linked the bacteria and inflammation in your mouth with inflammation and infection markers in your body responsible for Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Infertility and Arthritis.

Before any aesthetic dental work is carried out, our team at dental wellness will eliminate any inflammation, infection and dental decay from your mouth.

Your breath will be FRESHER and your ENERGY levels improved.

We manage saliva flow to protect your teeth.

Did you know that if you are taking two or more prescribed drugs, it may affect your saliva flow which may create an acidic environment in your mouth leading to catastrophic dental problems! Saliva flow protects the teeth and reduces any bacteria sticking to your teeth.

It is also needed to buffer any acidic foods and drinks. Our clinic routinely checks saliva flow and pH and offers nutritional advice and safe drug-free products which help with this problem.

We ensure you are keeping adequately hydrated

Hydration is a key factor in attaining optimal oral health. Are your lips cracked? How much water do you drink? I advise that you drink as pure a source of water as possible with a pH between 7- 7.3 with all natural minerals and energy still present.

I am not a fan of filters that strip not only its minerals but also its energy which produces acidic water.

We then work to create your optimal smile

When your nutrition and hydration are optimal, with all inflammation, infection and potential toxicity addressed safely, it is time for us to give you the SMILE you have always wanted.

Models of your teeth and digital photographs of your existing smile are sent to our technician, and a provisional wax up is fabricated so we can then duplicate this in a temporary form in your mouth without any damage to your teeth. Once happy with the shape and colour, we will then create the MAXIMUM AESTHETIC improvement with minimal tooth destruction.

I will say that again,
“Maximum aesthetic effect with minimal removal of your precious tooth tissue.”

Your smile is the world’s first impression of you.

Your mouth is also the doorway to your body and a good first check point of your overall health.

And finally I would like to highlight four common mistakes ...

... when on your journey for total dental health.

  1. You may decide to have a mercury silver filling replaced without precautions. The risk of inhalation and swallowing filling material is high affecting your digestive gut flora and causing potential long term health consequences.

  2. No dietary changes prior to any mercury removal. Ignoring your diet and pH will increase your risk of side effects. Minimising processed foods, increasing protein, green veggies, probiotics, essential fatty acids and antioxidants is advised.
    I would recommend seeing a nutritional specialist or naturopath for guidance.
    By the way, Garlic, Onions and Coriander are always advised.

  3. Choosing the cheapest dentistry. Dental wellness strives to practice metal free dentistry, including crowns and bridges. Technology today has advanced to create SAFE WHITE STRONG alternatives to metal containing dental crowns and bridges. Cheaper crowns may be made overseas where there are no material controls to Australian standards. You may be putting a dangerous metal in your mouth to suck on for years.

  4. Finally, the use of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for prolonged periods to alkaline your body. Although effective, this habit is carried out on rising when your saliva flow is lowest and your tooth tissue cannot cope with this major acidic assault , leading to sensitivity , root decay and dissolving of resin fillings and your own enamel. If you cannot give this discipline up immediately I urge you not to brush your teeth for 40 minutes as you will brush your teeth away, literally. A bicarbonate of soda solution can be held in your mouth for 1 minute to alkaline your oral environment straight after taking it.

contact dental wellness on 07 3511 1399

safer healthy beautiful smiles

To find out more about dental wellness please visit us at
or send a query to
Keep Smiling - it’s good for you!

Dr David Cowhig

23 Nov 2013

Last Update: 25 Nov 2013

Article/Information supplied by David Cowhig

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.