“Integrative wellness dentistry” is an increasingly trendy discipline drawing additional patient attention in the wake of the pandemic. What is it, exactly? Houston-area practitioner Dr. Katie To explains.

WE WORK CLOSELY with referring and like-minded medical professionals to form a team for patient care. As the team’s dental expert, we provide crucial information from the oral cavity to speed up healing and get rid of diseases and toxins.

When a new patient comes to our office, we perform a holistic oral analysis, which includes a medical and dental history overview, blood-panel review, a home sleep test, nutritional analysis, oral pH evaluation, oral DNA testing, records via both CBCT and intraoral scanner, biocompatibility testing and more.

We therefore address not only the symptoms but also the root cause of diseases, and patients are able to maintain their improvement with little to no medication. Our dentistry will last longer and serve better once the patient’s systemic health is in good condition. We’ve seen a huge increase in requests for consults since the pandemic; patients are showing more interest in and awareness of their health. Every dentist should be ready for the next health
crisis, especially younger dentists. The best place to start is to get CE and introduction courses to biological dentistry from the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine, for which I’m the Education Committee Chair, and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

Most practices follow the disease model, which handles things as they come. We focus on disease prevention and making sure our patients are dealing with the underlying health issues that are contributing to their oral-health problems. Many of our patients, for example, got their diabetes under control after years of medications once their periodontal infection got stable. It’s rewarding to be part of the team that changes and saves lives.

Dr. Katie To runs the Center for Integrative Wellness and Cosmetic Dentistry in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston. She’s a member of this year’s Incisal Edge 40 Under 40. Reach her via Instagram and Facebook @drkatieto.