Community Spotlight: Dr. Lisa Butler of Butler Family Dentistry
Holistic Dentistry for the Whole Family
How would you describe Butler Family Dentistry?
Butler Family Dentistry is a way that I have found to mix my own personal health beliefs with that of my career. I was living an organic lifestyle prior to becoming a dentist and I didn’t even realize that you could mix the two. It was a learning experience to bring that aspect of health into dentistry.
What are your credentials?
I graduated in 2009 from Arizona School of Dentistry, in Mesa, which is part of the A.T. Still University, an osteopathic school. They have a philosophy of whole body, which I didn’t know could translate into alternative dentistry care. I’m hoping to eventually teach students about holistic dentistry.
What services do you provide?
We provide full dental services for the entire family, looking at a person’s condition in light of their entire body health, not just the teeth, and we do everything except for sedation, including cosmetic, general, implant and biological dentistry.
Why did you become a dentist?
I was born and raised in Southern California. I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I had a lot of people giving me advice on what I should be doing, but God had a plan. I started out as a dental hygienist for 15 years, and then I went off the beaten path and owned a bed and breakfast for four years. I did public speaking and consulting and realized I was supposed to be a dentist and decided to go to dental school and have my own practice.
What made you choose the holistic approach?
A retiring dentist that was a pioneer in biological and holistic dentistry, and my taking over the practice was an instant immersion into an entirely different philosophy. I believe there was a reason the opportunity to purchase this practice came to us the way it did. Now that I know about holistic dentistry, I couldn’t go back to doing anything differently.
What is holistic dentistry?
Treating the entire person. I feel the main difference between my practice and the traditional dental practice is informed consent, giving the patient all of the information they need to make a decision that’s in their body’s best interest. I don’t recommend treatment because that’s what we do; each solution is arrived at by mutual agreement between me and my patient after they have had time to research what they want to do and educate themselves.
What are the benefits of biological dentistry?
It improves one’s overall health. An obvious example of biological dentistry is removing amalgam (mercury) fillings. We utilize state-of-the-art technology to make it safe for patients, as well as our employees. We operate our hand pieces on a very low speed to be as gentle as possible, use forced air oxygen for patients, use isolated equipment to prevent the patient from swallowing or ingesting the amalgam and we have a special filtration inside and outside the mouth. We also cover up the patient so they are not exposed to vapor as much as possible, and use the same measures for staff working on the patient.
What is orthotropics?
Orthotropics provides natural growth guidance for jaws and teeth and is gaining attention as a replacement for using braces, extractions and surgery to straighten teeth. The intervention is for children aged 4 to 10 to achieve maximum horizontal facial growth, rather than waiting for the child to become a teenager and send him or her to an orthodontist and then extract two to four healthy teeth and put them in braces. This way, we encourage optimal growth to occur so all the teeth fit, and it is done with a removable appliance, so that the patient can clean their teeth properly and fully by brushing and flossing. It’s an interceptive approach to help the body do what it should do normally, rather than a quick fix needed at the end.
What are zirconia implants?
Titanium is the material that’s traditionally thought of for dental implants. It’s only in the last three years that zirconia implants have been FDA approved. We prefer to use zirconia whenever possible, due to the absence of galvanism, or electrical current, so that there are no micro gaps that harbor bacteria. It’s also more aesthetic, with no metal halo showing around the gums.
Who is a candidate for holistic dentistry?
Everyone, though my typical patient is someone who is very informed about their body and their health and already sees alternative health providers; they basically come to me knowing what they want and need. We also see some patients who know nothing about holistic dentistry, but someone told them to come. Nothing is as good as what God gave you, and if we can help you keep it and you don’t have to remove it or alter it, all the better.
What should people understand about dental health?
Basically, any type of problem you have in your body as a whole will be reflected in the mouth. Many patients don’t understand that. They have heart disease, high cholesterol, stress, diabetes, and all of these can display oral symptoms. We are looking at all of that and try to advise that you can’t correct body problems without correcting the overall dental health problems: it is a common vessel.
How do you feel about continuing education?
I have certifications in public health and a master’s in health services management and last year, I did an eight-month implant residency. This year I started the orthotropics residency. Each year I want to learn something major in addition to something minor. My goal for 2014 is a certification in homeopathic medicine.
Butler Family Dentistry is located at 4210 N. 32 St., Phoenix. Contact Dr. Butler at 602-956-4897 or NaturalDentistAz.com.