Changing Viewpoints

shoe-fitting fluoroscopeWhen I was a child there were X-ray machines in shoe stores. As we were fitted for a pair of shoes it was customary to stand in a machine so the store clerk could take an X ray and check your toes had adequate room to grow. There was no protection from the X rays and because my father had bad feet, he always insisted I had “pictures taken” to avoid ill-fitting shoes. I tell the story to illustrate how an idea that was lovingly embraced 50 years ago, seems shocking today. I believe we will look at sealants in a similar light, wondering why we exposed our children to plastics and BPA.

My goal is to help patients enjoy ultimate oral health and avoid unnecessary treatments. People are usually amazed how easy it is to prevent, and even reverse cavities. They understand probiotics are good for gut health, so it makes sense that good bacteria are necessary for mouth health. The advantage in avoiding fillings is that pristine teeth are preserved. Once a tooth is filled, even with a small filling, its strength is compromised and it has a greater chance of needing repairs or being damaged in the future.

I recently consulted with a lady who was told by her dentist she had a small hole (about the width of a needle) in a back molar. It was so small the dentist needed his magnifying glasses to see it and said there was no decay, and it wasn’t deep. He put a composite filling in the tooth and suggested similar treatment for two other molars with deep grooves that he said could turn into cavities. When the patient tried to ask questions, her dentist “brushed her off”. Her concerns were why, if the tiny hole wasn’t a cavity or decayed, did it need a filling? The patient regrets the treatment and asked me if she should have the fillings removed. My reply was that many dentists think cracks or fissures are problems. In a healthy mouth, molar grooves can actually be useful footholds for good bacteria and reservoirs of probiotics that protect the mouth.

I did not recommend she remove the fillings, but explained this was a good learning experience. I suggested the next time her dentist wants to fill a tooth (providing it is not an emergency) she gets up from the chair and discusses why, postponing any decision to consider pros or cons. Only agree to treatment when you are eye to eye with your dentist, and never be afraid to ask for time to resolve the problem. Ideally you want re-evaluation in a few months to determine if treatment is still necessary. Frequently tooth and gum problems can be reversed with Zellie’s products and the Complete Mouth Care System. Your dentist may be amazed, particularly if he or she has not witnessed natural healing before. Wishing everyone happy dental visits!

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Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover     Zellies CMCS Booklet

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For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order Zellies Xylitol Mints, Gum and Candies
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

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