Holistic Dentistry in Denver, CO

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Holistic Dentistry

Holistic and Biologic Dentistry in Denver, CO with Dr. Thurman

At Dental Elements, Dr. Thurman studies the relationship between your overall systemic health and the oral health of your teeth and gums. Holistic and Biologic dentistry is based on the principle that your teeth, gums, mouth and jaw are inextricably connected with the rest of the body. Thus, a person’s dental health has a significant impact on their overall health. Holistic and Biologic dentistry is about treating the whole patient rather than one or two symptoms manifesting in the mouth. We only utilize materials, techniques and treatments that will support the well-being of your entire body.

What Is Holistic and Biologic Dentistry?

The philosophy of holistic and biologic dentistry is to promote overall health and wellness rather than treating specific dental diseases or conditions. Holistic dentists work to balance the entire body and perform many of the same procedures as typical dentists. Many holistic and biologic dentists focus on straightening crooked teeth, aligning the bite and ensuring that the jaw and facial bones are in the optimal position.

How Does Holistic and Biologic Dentistry Work?

Holistic and biologic dentistry focuses on using non-toxic ingredients, eliminating infections, and promoting optimal relationships between the teeth, jaw, head, and neck. Holistic and biologic dentists will use the least invasive, least traumatic and least toxic means of both diagnosis and treatment.

Holistic and Biologic Dentistry Benefits

The holistic and biologic approach in these areas is believed to:

  • Improve jaw function
  • Reduce ear pain
  • Improve breathing
  • Correct sinus problems
  • Improve sleep health

Holistic and biologic dentistry also focuses on a variety of other conditions that may affect the entire skeletal system.

Candidates For Holistic and Biologic Dentistry

Patients who are looking for a holistic and biologic approach to dental treatment to balance their bite with their body should contact our office today! Meet with Dr. Thurman to see if holistic and biologic dentistry is the right approach for you.

What Are The Reasons I Should Use A Holistic and Biologic Dentist?

At Dental Elements, we look beyond simply placing a filling here or an implant there. We look at how your dental health affects your overall health. It’s akin to a doctor focusing on preventive care just as much as treating your sore throat. All three of the dentists at Dental Elements, Dr. Thurman (DDS) is trained general dentists, but we’re also holistic and biologic dentists.

Here are a few reasons we feel holistic and biologic dentistry and general dentistry merge at Dental Elements.

We Only Use Biocompatible, Non-Toxic Materials

We don’t place silver amalgam fillings. We’re not trying to scare anyone, saying you need to remove all of your old amalgam fillings today. We just don’t believe our patients should have dangerous metals in their mouths when there are better alternatives. For fillings, we only place composite resin fillings. They are basically invisible when they’re in a tooth, unlike silver amalgam, and their durability is approaching that of amalgam. Plus, they won’t crack a tooth or leach over time.

We also don’t use metals in our crowns. We use dental-grade porcelain for these prosthetics. Not only do we believe in the materials, but porcelain crowns are also beautiful, durable, and they look just like natural tooth enamel.

We Provide The Latest Technology To Minimize Invasiveness

Holistic and biologic can mistakenly be confused with not believing in or utilizing technology. At Dental Elements we believe in the latest dental technology because it can make treatments easier on our patients. Our digital x-rays deliver virtually no radiation to the patient, plus they provide better images that are scalable and can be sent to other dentists if we need a second opinion.

Our use of diode lasers limit the chances of infection because they instantly sterilize the treatment areas. They minimize bleeding. And they make for easier recovery for our patients. Lasers limit the need for anesthesia in many instances.

We Look At The Person, Not Just The Procedure

Our use of diode lasers limit the chances of infection because they instantly sterilize the treatment areas. They minimize bleeding. And they make for easier recovery for our patients. Lasers limit the need for anesthesia in many instances.

How Does Holistic and Biologic Dentistry Affect The Body?

Our line of holistic and biologic thinking is that your oral health is intimately tied to your overall health. Is your nighttime bruxism caused by stress at work or is your jaw out of alignment and you’re actually suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder?

Our team understands TMD and sleep apnea. These aren’t purely dental areas, but both of these conditions overlap with oral health and dental care. Getting your jaw into proper alignment may not seem obvious. It may not show up on an x-ray, but it shows up in tenderness around the jaw joints. We may use electromyography to find the electricity generated by the jaw muscles to measure both muscle and nerve function. Getting your jaw into proper alignment can change everything. Suddenly your jaw and face don’t hurt all the time. There’s no clicking when you chew. And now your airway is open, and your sleep apnea is gone.

This kind of thinking affects your entire body, not just a single tooth or dental prosthetic.

What Are The Benefits Of Mercury-Free Fillings (Metal Free)?

One aspect of our holistic and biologic approach is to not use silver amalgam in our fillings, choosing composite resin instead. Cosmetically, these fillings are far superior to amalgam; they are basically invisible in your tooth. Composite resin is a combination of powdered glass and acrylic resin, and technology is making it more and more durable. Unlike amalgam, composite resin bonds to the tooth, rather than simply being packed down into it.

Tooth-colored fillings have various advantages over amalgam:

Composite and porcelain fillings match the color or your tooth enamel, so they blend perfectly and cannot be seen.
Composite is metal- and mercury-free.
The filling is bonded to the tooth, which actually pulls inward on the tooth’s periphery, making the tooth stronger.
Tooth-colored fillings require less healthy tooth tissue to be removed.

Safe Metal Filling Removal

We understand many want to have metal fillings removed safely and environmentally friendly. We have a mercury filter to ensure mercury doesn’t get into the sewer system. We also are aware to cut the metal filling out in pieces to ensure less mercury vapor is released. We also do rubber damn on request with other isolation units. Again, this us up to you and your philosophy.

Can I Replace A Silver Amalgam Filling?

More and more people are opting to have their silver amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite resin. We provide this service as part of our holistic and biologic dentistry offerings. The process is not difficult and it can actually strengthen your tooth. As silver amalgam expands and contracts, it can crack a tooth. This is especially true as the filling and the tooth age. Your new tooth-colored filling will be virtually invisible.

What Are The Problems With Silver Amalgam In Fillings?

Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy comprised of silver, tin, and copper. That’s doesn’t sound like something you’d like to have in your teeth, but there’s one reason for the popularity of amalgam — strength. Amalgam fillings are very durable and can last for decades.

But amalgam fillings have problems:

  • They are unsightly. When you open your mouth everyone can see exactly how many amalgam fillings you have.
  • They require more of the healthy tooth to be removed. Silver amalgam isn’t bonded onto the tooth; it is packed in. To adequately anchor the filling more of the healthy tooth (in addition to the decayed portion) needs to be removed and a ridged surface is created to hold the amalgam.
  • No one wants mercury in his or her mouth. While they’ve been deemed safe, people are less and less interested in having a combination of metals, particularly mercury, in their mouths.
  • Amalgam fillings can crack teeth. Because the metals expand and contract with hot and cold, amalgam fillings can cause the tooth to crack.
    Silver amalgam has also been in use since the 1800s; you’d think we would have a better option by now, and we do: composite resin.

Metal Free Dentistry – BPA Free Fillings and Ceramic Restorations

Metal fillings are a mixture of different metal particles blended with mercury (think thermometer mercury) to form a filling. One major problem with metal fillings is that they expand with change in temperature at a different rate than your tooth structure. This means every time you eat something hot or cold, they are micro expanding or shrinking and can cause cracking in the supporting tooth enamel. Some cracks are minor, while others become major. Many times when we remove a metal filling we find large cracks underneath and undetected decay. Metal or Alloy fillings have served dentistry since 1819, but its far past time to move on. We only use PBA free composite resin filling material.

Metal free dentistry also means no porcelain fused to metal crowns. These crowns are made with a mix of gold and other metals to form a coping then the porcelain is baked on it. This junction is a weak spot and often the porcelain will chip off the metal coping. We can also make your restorations out of porcelain using our CEREC Primescan CAD/CAM design and milling system. We use CEREC same day dentistry and are able to quickly manufacture different types of porcelain crowns on site.

Extraction and the Periodontal Ligament

After extraction, especially on an infected tooth, we completely clean the bone to help ensure most all infection is removed. It’s important to note, the periodontal ligament is a microscopic ligament. We can see chronic granulation tissue and do our best removing anything from the bone socket that can hinder healing of the bone.


We offer plasma protein services. This is where we draw blood and put it in a centrifuge to get plasma growth factors. These can be packed in surgical sites to promote faster healing. The research is showing a lot of positive results from this. Let us know if you are interested in this service.

Zirconia Implants

If you believe zirconia implants are the best route for you, we can certainly complete them for you. We will be glad to discuss pros and cons of zirconia implants vs the standard titanium implants.

3D Cone Beam X-Rays (CBCT)

We have been using this technology in our practice for over a decade. It’s really is amazing how blindly we have been practicing dentistry with traditional dental x-rays. Bite Wing x-rays are still the best x-ray to diagnosis decay between the teeth, but after that the cone beam x-ray really does the rest.

Some of the findings we are able to discover and screen for with a 3D Cone Beam X-ray include:


  • True Jaw Bone Levels surrounding teeth – allows us to evaluate any destruction that might have been caused by periodontal disease.
  • Nerve anatomy – major nerve paths are critical to review prior to removal of wisdom teeth.
  • Width and Height of Jaw Bone – this is especially important when evaluating future implant site.
  • Tooth Anatomy – we can view many aspects of tooth anatomy from any angle and direction.
  • Digital implant surgery planning – this is the most precise way to thread the needle in a complex implant surgery.
  • Sinus Evaluation – lots of sinus issues can be affected by diseased teeth.
  • Pathology – ability to evaluate the true anatomy of a pathological complication in the jaw bone.
  • Root Canal exams – are root canals healthy or do they have a chronic infection present?
  • Existing implant positions – are they fully surrounded by bone?

Schedule A Consultation

If you are interested in holistic and biologic dentistry and would like to learn more, contact our office. We serve Denver, CO and the surrounding areas.


I had a long overdue deep cleaning, root canal/crown, AND fillings within a month. Dr. Thurman, Morgan, Kathy and staff were very attentive and kind with not ONLY the procedures and explanations but with checking up on me after the root canal. Also great at helping me figure out my insurance coverage and payments. Dental Elements is GREAT.

- Steve

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