The last time I saw a dentist was in December 2019, I'm ashamed to admit. I am so consistent with every other aspect of my health, but I had really let my oral healthcare lapse. Well, when I finally give myself a much needed kick in the butt, I ended up scheduling with a biologic dentist here in Salt Lake City. The visit went so well and I was so pleased with my experience, I thought I would an overview of my experience and, perhaps, give you reason to see a biologic dentist instead of a conventional one.
What is a biologic dentist?
I am by no means an expert on this topic, but from what I have learned, biologic dentistry is a specialty within conventional dentistry that strives to decrease levels of chemical and heavy metal exposure in patient care. Dentists who practice biologic or natural dentistry are trained in the conventional manner and then get additional training to become specialized in this area.
What are the benefits of seeing a biologic dentist?
Seeing a dentist in a practice that is biologic or natural means you're less likely to be exposed to toxic chemicals and heavy metals, fluoride and less likely to undergo unnecessary or less safe or healthy procedures. Biologic dentists understand that oral health impacts the entire body.
How was your visit different from your typical dentist?
The first thing I noticed during my visit was that the dental assistant was knowledgeable in the latest techniques when it comes to safe x-ray taking. The office I visited uses a special type of x-ray for exams which results in 70% less exposure to radiation - which is important to me. I was then pleased that my dental hygienist talked to me about every step of the exam and cleaning, allowed me to ask questions and answered each one thoroughly.
During the cleaning, the procedure was the same as I've experienced before, except they do not use fluoride treatments in this office - basing this decision on research. Instead, they use ozone therapy - which I am quite familiar with (because I use it in my practice!). They applied ozone just under my gum-line at the end of the cleaning which can reduce the chance for infection and improve tissue health and strength.
Thankfully I did not have any oral issues that needed addressing beyond a cleaning, but I'm sure that I would feel perfectly happy going back to this office for check ups and any oral health issues which may arise.
The great thing about my visit is it was covered by my insurance (with the exception of the ozone treatment) just as well as when I was seeing a conventional dentist. I was so happy about that! I walked out of the office with super clean teeth as well as an herbal mouthwash they sell full of herbal tincture ingredients I would prescribe to my patients.
Overall my experience with a biologic dentist was awesome. Just FYI, here is the link to their office - Synergy Dental.
If you didn't already know it, giving is great for your health. Giving can help decrease your blood pressure and it can improve your mental health by increasing self-esteem and lowering depression. "Giving" can mean many different things - giving time, like volunteering, or donating money or other resources. Of course we don't have to give to get something in return - but it's a great bonus.
This time of the year I tend to think more about giving, but this year in particular I cannot help but think about how much need exists in my community right now. In a state of a little over 3 million, 511,000 Utahns are estimated to be currently food insecure. An astounding 1 in 5 children in Utah may go to bed hungry tonight.
Thanks to you and our community, 2021 was the best year for my business yet. Thanks to the growth of my business, I now have the good fortune to be able to give back.
I strongly believe that nutrition is the basis of health and well being and that food is a basic necessity and human right. To help my community access food, I am hosting a fund drive to raise money for Utah Food Bank until the end of the year. With your help, my goal is to raise $1000 by the end of 2021. And as an extra bonus, my practice will be matching all money donated up to $1,000 - so we have the potential to raise up to $2,000 for Utah Food Bank.
Help me reach my goal and help get food to those in my local community who need it most!
Visit my fund drive for Utah Food Bank here - which will be active until Jan 1, 2022. Thanks for donating!
As many of you are already aware, my business has continued to grow every month and I have had to adjust my business practices as I go. In response to increasing costs, I will be making some adjustments to my fees. As of Nov 5, 2021, new patient visits will be $300 and follow up visits will vary from $90 - $240. For more information about this, please call the office.
Keep in mind that I will be honoring my current pricing for any appointments scheduled on or before Nov 5th.
In the case that you'd like to take advantage of my current pricing, I am offering two package deals for appointments through the end of 2022.
If you'd like to purchase either bundle or have more questions, call my office or send me a message in charm (for existing patients).
So, you've scheduled your first visit with me, now what? You're in the right place because I wrote this post especially for you!
There are a few things you can do which will make our time together most productive!
I look forward to meeting you! Please call my office if you have any questions about any of this information or your appointment.
To your health,
During the summertime, I catch myself thinking about my drinking days. I stopped drinking alcohol June 2018, but as it is a part of almost every event in modern life I continually have to revisit my reasons for stopping. As a young person I drank almost as much as my friends - I could never drink quite as much just due to my genetic makeup - but I tried! I drank at parties, on weekends, week nights. I enjoyed visiting the bars and going dancing while drinking. It was just a normal thing for me. Once I was in Naturopathic school, the drinking didn't end. It's funny/sad -- but in some parts us ND students were known around town for our heavy drinking! I rolled with it and continued drinking socially. It wasn't until I was living in Seattle that I realized (a) drinking feels awful for me and (b) it was not helping my mental health.
Fast forward to June 2018 - I was doing a cleanse/detox-type diet with my partner. We were both eating healthy foods, juicing and just "getting our health on". We stopped drinking and I cannot even describe the relief I felt! I wasn't waking up on Sundays hungover and massively depressed. Other improvements occurred: my skin cleared up, I lost weight, I gained time that wasn't spent nursing a hangover, I saved money and healed some of my relationship with myself.
I now wake up on Sundays feeling good - sometimes even early to exercise or just have a peaceful morning.
So now, let me share with you a few things I have learned about alcohol which might be helpful for you, in your journey:
If you are thinking about your relationship with alcohol and whether it's serving you, consider taking a break. If you have medically related questions about any of what I wrote above ask your GP or shoot me a message. I would love to hear from you!
I cannot count the number of times a new patient has told me either (a) they have never had blood work run or (b) it has been 10+ years since they last had blood work done. The reasons for the gaps are all over the map - they may not trust healthcare providers due to past experiences, they may not have had access due to financial reasons, they may have grown up in a family who avoided mainstream medicine. Whatever the reason is, I try to approach the issue gingerly. Many people I see have needle phobia or, as previously mentioned, had adverse or negative experiences with medicine in the past and I don't want to worsen that.
Running labs gives us a tremendously valuable peek inside of the body which can sometimes let us get on top of issues before they become worse. Sometimes when symptoms show up, as in the case of iron deficiency anemia for example, the condition is so severe it makes it more difficult to treat. As a bonus, when I run labs for my patients I have a different perspective on what "normal" is vs what the lab considers normal. In many cases, my "normal" might be much narrower than what the lab considers normal. This is extremely important when it comes to helping my patients reach optimal levels of health and well being.
I always emphasize the importance of data when it comes to seeing my patients - it makes it easier to determine what needs help and easier to track their progress. The easiest way to collect that data is through a blood draw. Keep in mind, there are some needle-free options for lab work, but most folks do require a poke here and there.
I recommend basic panels get drawn at least every 2 years. Is that too frequent? No, I don't believe so because our labs can change quickly depending on many factors including stress levels, exercises, what we're eating, age and stage, and more! When patients come to me - something has changed and labs are a great way to see what might be going on below the surface.
What are basic panels? In my practice, those panels include these:
If you'd like to learn more, send me an email or call to schedule a free 15 minute discovery call with me. I can't wait to talk with you! -Dr. Katie
When the temps start to rise, I get pretty thirsty. Here in Utah it's dry, it's hot and my skin and gut need more water! When I drink water, I want to get the most out of it - meaning I want to make sure I'm getting hydrated by adding electrolytes. I came up with a little recipe for a naturally hydrating beverage I want to share with you. Follow the recipe below (or improvise your own version and let me know if it's a tasty one!) and see if you get a bit more out of your water...
Naturopathic Electrolyte Drink ("NED")
Enjoy NED on a warm day especially after sweating, before or during a workout or whenever you're thirsty.
It's easy! I use a big mason jar to make my drink. Add in the filtered water, electrolyte drops (I use 2 droppers full- about 20 drops), stevia drops (about 20 drops, or to taste), lemon or lime juice.
Sometimes I add ice, sometimes I add sparkling water... experiment and see what you come up with!
The second in the series about what specialty tests offered in my practice is the TAP or Temporal Adrenal Profile from Diagnostechs.
The TAP test is a saliva test which measures free levels of the stress hormone cortisol over the course of one day. I typically run the test in patients who complain of fatigue and sleep issues, but often in patients who have immune problems, gut complaints and skin and hair issues. Healthy levels of cortisol play an important role in many different systems of the body.
Indications for ordering the TAP test include:
The previous list is not exhaustive, but does give you a peek into certain situations where the test might be ordered. Although there are multiple ways cortisol may be measured, the TAP is my favorite way.
Advantages of the TAP test:
If you'd like to learn more about the TAP test or you'd like to discuss ordering the test, schedule a visit with me!
Here are a few frequently asked questions for folks new to my practice.
If you need more information, please give my office a call, email or use my contact form.
A frequent conversation I have with my patients is why laboratory testing (of any kind) may be a good idea. I'm not one to order labs "just because". I think when I order a lab, I should have a pretty good reason and way to treat the patient based on the results.
One of the many specialty and functional medicine tests I offer is a stool test from Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory called the GI MAP (Gastrointestinal Microbial Assay Plus). This is a stool test (yes, it requires a poo sample!) uses cutting edge technology called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which helps pick up tiny traces of gut bugs in the stool sample. GI MAP takes a look at what good bugs (normal bacteria), ok bugs, and not good bugs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, worms, etc) might be lurking in the gastrointestinal tract. The test also assesses for inflammation, immune health, and digestive function.
I will quite frequently find infections on the GI MAP that other tests missed. The test will also gives us a sense of the level of dysbiosis (a condition where typically normal bacteria in the gut appear in abnormally low or high numbers) -- which is extremely helpful when it comes to recovering from many chronic conditions.
I order this test for patients with digestive complaints, yes, but that's not all. Here's a short (but not exhaustive) list of patient conditions when I might order the GI MAP test:
If you have questions about whether the GI MAP is right for you, please reach out to me! I'd love to talk to you about your concerns.