What is Integrative Dentistry?
By Stuart Diamond
This is the first in a series on Integrative Dentistry.
Integrative Dentistry. It is a word used more and more these days. But what actually is Integrative Dentistry? The more research I did, I found that the answer became more and more elusive. There is no one definition.
So I decided to talk with one of the leading practioners of Integrative Dentistry, Dr. Richard Nejat, and get a close-up view of what are the core concepts and what it means in practice. Dr. Richard Nejat is a Board Certified Periodontist whose practice, Advanced Periodontics, covers the entire range of modern dentistry – from basic dental care to the cutting-edge technologies, including computer guided implant dentistry and minimally invasive dental surgery. Dr. Nejat’s main office is in mid-town Manhattan with satellite offices in New Jersey and Long Island.
Sitting in his mid-town office, Dr. Nejat is articulate and enthusiastic, as he speaks about the emergence of integrative dentistry: “As the name implies, Integrative Dentistry is an attempt to integrate different approaches to dental care. The implication is that we gain additional benefits and even better results from a blend of different approaches. This may mean that a dentist will incorporate elements traditionally associated with holistic care, alongside more traditional approaches to dentistry.”
Ever the investigative journalist, I counter: The problem is that there is no one standard of Integrative Dentistry. Thus, every Integrative Dentist makes up their own philosophy – approaches and strategies – and then calls it Integrative Dentistry.
Dr. Nejat pauses only for a moment before responding: “If there is a underlying philosophy – it might be stated as: The overall goal of Integrative Dentistry is to embrace dental care that provide the best dental outcomes with the most natural, and least invasive strategies.”
I then ask about other commonalities between dentists, who offer integrative dentistry. Is there some basic strategies that they share – or is it more of a common marketing ploy?
Dr. Nejat only shrugs, and admits that he can only proffer what he and his staff do at Advanced Periodontics.
“First and foremost, we listen to our patients. What are their expectations? We understand that today more and more of our patients are becoming familiar with what it means to make healthy choices. So our first priority is to understand each person’s perspective.
“Second, we listen to the science. Modern dentistry is making amazing strides forward, offering patients a range of options. Today’s breakthrough technologies provide treatments that are in many cases less invasive, less painful, and less toxic.
“We firmly believe that by listening to a patient’s philosophy of what they are looking for and then offering arrange of intelligent options, integrating a variety of strategies, creates the basis of true Integrative Dentistry.”
It is an interesting concept – let the patient first define what integrative dentistry is to them. Then by informing them of all the possibilities, develop an integrative dental strategy customized to each patient’s needs and philosophy. I explain to Dr. Nejat why I find it appealing. He begins with a patient’s starting point. But then through education, he expands the possibilities in a patient’s own mind. When they leave his office after treatment, they not only have the best dental treatment for them, but their awareness of what is integrative dentistry can do for them has been expanded – with far reaching implications how they might approach other aspects of their health.
For more information, contact Dr. Richard Nejat at
Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Address: 110 E 40th St #500, New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 581-1090
Copyright: racorn / 123RF Stock Photo