There are several terms used to describe a dentist who uses a biological approach to oral health. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences in the actual definitions.

Biological approach
Dental caries is a disease induced by dental plaque, which can be described as a community of microorganisms (biofilm). Because of genetic and environmental factors a number of changes in the oral microbiome takes place; in case of commensalism and mutualism between biofilm microorganisms and the host, homeostasis in oral microbiome is maintained.

Each person has his own caries risk which is determined by the oral microbiome and immune system influenced by the environmental and genetic factors. Early caries diagnostic, risk assessment and individualized caries prevention plan will allow us to control the disease and achieve a desirable effect. For the dentist the most important thing is not to treat the consequences of the disease – cavities – but be aware of the dental caries as a biological phenomenon.

Here are 8 terms for biological dentistry that can be used interchangeably, but actually mean slightly different things:

    1. Biological dentistry — This refers to dentists who follow the philosophy of how German Biological Medicine applies to oral health. They believe that the whole body affects the mouth, and vice versa. For instance, dental mercury fillings may cause whole-body side effects, or dental cavitations may cause systemic disease.

    3. Functional dentistry — A functional dentist is concerned with the function of your whole body, as it relates to your oral health. These professionals look for root causes seemingly unrelated to the symptoms.

    5. Holistic dentistry — What is the difference between a holistic dentist and a regular dentist? The difference is that a holistic dentist treats the whole person to ensure oral health, or vice versa, even taking into account mental and social factors.

    7. Integrative dentistry — The term “integrative” implies that integrative dentists consider the whole body in relation to the mouth, and vice versa. Not only are integrative dentists concerned with the mouth-body connection, but they try to integrate medicine with dentistry.

    9. Biocompatible dentistry — When someone says “biocompatible”, they basically mean that whatever treatment they’re using will not react badly with your whole-body health. For example, biocompatible dentists avoid mercury, fluoride, SLS, or overall harmful procedures like root canals, unless it absolutely cannot be avoided.

    11. Natural dentistry — A natural dentist uses only natural means to care for your oral health. This may include dietary supplements, essential oils, or simply avoiding man-made chemicals in your toothpaste.

    13. Alternative dentistry — This refers to the fact that alternative dentists use different methods than conventional dentists, such as a focus on dietary supplements, oral probiotics, and whole-body health.

    15. Unconventional dentistry — This means that their methods are not conventional, or mainstream. Unconventional dentists use methods that may have scientific evidence to support them, but may not be widely accepted in the dental community.