Specializes in Holistic Dentistry
Bernice Teplitsky, DDS, PC
W rigleyville Dental, in Chicago, is encouraging people to think about oral health as a vital component of overall wellness. Dr. Bernice Teplitsky is the owner and one of the holistic dentists at the practice, which focuses on preventive oral care and an individualized treatment plan for each patient. “We offer traditional dentistry with an integrative, holistic approach, and emphasize natural treatments to address the problem, rather than just treat symptoms,” she says.
Holistic dentistry addresses a patient’s oral health as it relates to their entire physical, emotional and sometimes spiritual health. Wrigleyville Dental treats every ailment using the least invasive means possible, using the safest, most biocompatible materials. “We believe that preventive care can preclude chronic issues from developing, and we take the time to educate our patients about their choices. The safety and comfort of our patients is a priority, and we’ll work with their physician or other healers to coordinate treatment and ensure that their whole body is cared for,” says Teplitsky.
One distinction of holistic dentistry is that the practitioner can tailor each treatment to the patient’s unique genetic makeup. “We can test the bacteria in a plaque sample and adjust the cleaning based on the results. We also do biocompatibility bloodwork on patients to figure out which of the 15,000 materials we have in dentistry are suitable for a specific individual,” explains Teplitsky.
People with thyroid issues or a suppressed immune system may not be able to handle certain procedures, and some medical conditions need to avoid certain ingredients in materials, so they take a patient’s health history into consideration before coming up with a treatment plan.
“Saving a tooth may not be the best practice if it affects the patients’ overall health in the long run. Conversations with the patient and their healthcare practitioners regarding a consensus on their treatment is frequent. This is the essence of individualized, holistic care,” relates Teplitsky.
Holistic dentistry also considers the impact a patient’s emotional health can have on their teeth. “If someone is experiencing stress or anxiety, it may manifest in clenching their teeth and other symptoms of TMJ, such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, ringing in the ears and jaw popping. So we look for ways to help patients during and after appointments,” says Teplitsky.
Sleep quality is one of the most important factors in overall health, and can also affect concentration and irritability. “Obstructive sleep apnea, when the muscles of the throat and tongue block your airway during sleep and you stop breathing, can exacerbate existing health issues and prompt the development of new ones such as heart disease and stroke,” says Teplitsky.
“We can provide a simple at-home sleep study and make a custom-fitted mouthpiece to be worn during sleep that guides the jaw outward, keeping the airway clear so you can breathe throughout the night and get a restful and restorative sleep,” she notes.
Wrigleyville Dental offers innovative treatments such as safe mercury amalgam removal, ozone therapy, Invisalign tooth movement, nonsurgical gum therapy, laser treatment, and PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, therapy. A big specialty is ozone therapy, which uses oxygenated water to kill microorganisms, help improve cellular function and promote healing of damaged tissue. “Ozone therapy is great for patients with periodontal disease, because it can reach below the gum line to target and destroy bacteria without toxic chemicals, surgery or pain,” says Teplitsky.
One of Teplitsky’s favorite parts of what she does is seeing a patient’s overall health improve with their oral health. “I love trying to find out if there’s a dental connection to a systemic issue in a person’s body. We do a comprehensive health and lifestyle history, and check things like blood pressure at every appointment. Nutritional deficiencies and other serious problems can be seen on the tongue, teeth or in the gums, so we are often the first part of a care team to detect that something is wrong in the body,” she says.
“There is a direct relationship between oral health and heart disease, autism, Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s. We talk about nutrition, diet, supplementation and give easy tips and tricks to help promote a healthy lifestyle, a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Most people visit the dentist every six months, but may only see their physician once a year, so we are a vital part of the health puzzle,” adds Teplitsky.
Teplitsky aims to make the experience of going to the dentist as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Wrigleyville Dental offers paraffin wax hand treatments, essential oil aromatherapy, neck pillows, blankets and stress balls for comfort, headphones and movies or television for patients to watch during lengthy procedures. They also provide homeopathic treatments or medication for pain and anxiety when necessary. Empathetic professionals make compassionate treatment affordable. Teplitsky shares, “Our staff truly makes the overall safety, comfort, health and wellness of our patients a priority.”