By Robert Ryan
It was with some trepidation that I approached my initial visit with Dr. Lewis Gross, the director of the Tribeca Center for Holistic and Integrative Dentistry. It had been some time since I’d seen a dentist, and I was expecting the worst. An upper-right molar had cracked, and I hadn’t had a cleaning in a long time. For me, a visit to the dentist ranks up there with back taxes, so I was surprised when the cozy waiting room and the spa music made me immediately relax.
After I was escorted into Dr. Gross’s operatory, his assistant took a set of low-radiation digital x-rays and they showed me my mouth in a video tour. OMG, what a mess I was! Years of dental procrastination were coming back to haunt me.
Dr. Gross measured my salivary pH, something no dentist had ever done. It was extremely acidic—5 on a scale of 1 to 14—and he explained that alkaline saliva (above 7) can help the teeth remineralize and cure incipient decay. He then gave me a free sample of his natural whitening mouthwash, Alka-White, which contains coconut oil, is vegan and non-GMO, and has no caustic bleaching agents. (There is also a version with turmeric.) The mixture of essential oils and spices gently whitens teeth and cures sensitivity.
After I received the best dental cleaning I’d ever had, Dr. Gross explained that he offers alternatives to root canal, such as an herbal filling that helps the nerve recover. If the teeth are already infected, he said, root canal locks the bacteria into your body, which can lead to chronic inflammation and systemic medical complications. Fortunately, he was able to restore my broken molar right then with a metal-free crown. The impression is digital (you don’t have to bite into a rubber tray), and in 15 minutes, a computer mills a perfectly fitted crown.
Of course, being holistic, Dr. Gross is anti-mercury. When he saw that I still have one large amalgam in a wisdom tooth that I plan to have extracted, he explained that I should use a holistically trained dentist to do it, because traditional dentists don’t take any precautions and expose the patient to the mercury. Holistic white composites should also be BPA free.
Fortunately I don’t need implants, but Dr. Gross’s office offers PRF stem cell, metal-free implants using the patient’s own blood. Most other surgeons use pig, cow or cadaver bone. I’m a vegan; I prefer my pigs in a pen and not in my mouth. It makes perfect sense that your own body parts are the safest and most reliable source for an implant.
All in all, my visit to the Tribeca Center for Holistic and Integrative Dentistry was a positive, enlightening and healthy wellness choice. For anyone wishing to follow the purist pursuit of personal wellness, I recommend contacting the Holistic Dental Association for a referral nearby—and using Alka-White every day.
Tribeca Center for Holistic and Integrative Dentistry is located at 17 Park Place, Tribeca, NY. For more information, contact Dr. Gross at 212.732.2200 or visit Holistic-dentists.com and mention Natural Awakenings.