DR. DAVID HOWARD
I graduated from Sydney University in 1980 and practiced conventional dentistry. Fortunately my first employer was one of the leaders in Dentistry and working with him was a terrific start. I had heard that the first few years in a profession generally sets your style for life and to have such a man as a mentor was a gift.
For ten years I practiced as a conventional dentist. I was interested in alternative lifestyles, beliefs, therapies as well as the “scientific” approach. I was, I believe, the first dentist in Sydney to use Applied Kinesiology or Autonomic Response Testing in Dentistry. This I used to help with TMJ or bite therapies. I used muscle testing to initially position the jaw and to refine diagnosis. This usually sped up treatment.
In the 1980’s in the circles I moved everyone suggested I become an Holistic Dentist. Unfortunately I did not know any of them. I did not know what they did and hence could not act on this. Fortunately in 1989 a patient gave me an article by Dr Horst Poehlmann about teeth and health. I became very excited and immediately contacted him (he lived between Adelaide and Germany).
I struck up an ongoing relationship with him and he showed me another way to think. Being a medical doctor he couldn’t tell me how to do holistic dentistry. He could only give me the principles to work to. I had a very exciting time trying to work out how to apply the principles in Dentistry.
This was extremely professionally rewarding.
Conversely the professional isolation I suffered was acute. I was used to circulating with the cream of the profession and suddenly this became quite uncomfortable when other dentists (quite rapidly) became aware of my new views.
To me the principles of holistic dentistry were so obviously commonsensical that I naively believed that the discussion of such would rapidly lead to their embrace by the profession. Now I harbor no such illusions.
I was also professionally rewarded by amazing health changes in many of my patients, some of which happened in minutes.
Today I run a general practice that works to the holistic priniciples.
Dr David Howard, BsD
The practice is a general practice (albeit with different underlying principles). General practice to me is a lovely situation. We have a relationship that usually continues for many years. We perform routine dentistry such as fillings and importantly the hygiene and preventive dentistry.
Where my skills are inadequate or a root canal is desired I refer to outside specialists to create the best care for my patients.
The principles I follow mean that many people who first come here have a lot of dentistry in the first year or two after they come here. This is necessary to firstly change from the old paradigm dentistry to the new e.g. amalgam removal. Sometimes this takes years. Then we usually only have to maintain the new work which mostly involves visiting the hygienist and check ups.