Dr. Harold Ravins
Detoxifying Heavy Metals
By Debbie L. Sklar
There are many exciting new discoveries in dental medicine to provide better outcomes for patients. One of the emerging fields is integrative or holistic medicine, the combining of traditional folk remedies from cultures worldwide with the most cutting-edge technologies and techniques of the mainstream.
Harold Ravins, DDS, a general dentist and the founder of The Center for Holistic Dentistry in Brentwood, has been in private practice since 1963.
“I’ve always thought that the mouth is a mirror into the overall body,” said Dr. Ravins.
He said that he hopes in the near future, holistic dentistry will become the norm.
“As heavy metal toxicity and acupuncture were eventually ac-cepted by mainstream medicine, dentists should keep an open mind about other elements of alternative medicine,” he commented.
With his drive and determination, Dr. Ravins continues to break new ground in
the area of holistic dentistry by offering patients what he believes to be a
healthier way to take care of their teeth — as part of their whole body.
The Path to Integrative Dentistry
Born and raised in Buffalo, Dr. Ravins is the son of third-generation kosher meat packers. He said he knew early on that he wanted to become a dentist and was always intrigued by biology.
“I learned how to stitch the chickens as a kid, and this helped me become an excellent surgeon,” he laughed. “I was interested in dentistry at the age of 9 or 10, as well as nature because my own dentist took a lot of time explaining dentistry to me.”
After graduating in 1960 from Fairleigh Dickenson School of Dentistry in New Jersey, he attended a graduate program in oral bacteriology at Ohio State University. Dr. Ravins went back to his native
Buffalo for a
year to work with his mentor, but quickly tired of shoveling snow and returned
However, the formative years were not always smooth sailing.
“It was about 1968 when I was diagnosed with incurable sciatica by my orthopedist,” he said. “It was a long weekend in Vegas and after walking the strip with my cane and wife, a taxi cab pulled up to us and it turned out to be a classmate of my wife’s who was going for his chiropractic boards.” The classmate invited Dr. Ravins and his wife up to his apartment where he treated the dentist, who suddenly felt much better.
“On Monday, I went back to the tennis courts, and when my orthopedist, also a tennis player, heard my story, he said a few unpublishable words and I realized most other doctors would refuse to give evidence of the efficacy of alternative modalities a fair hearing,” he said.
After three years of building up his general practice in Beverly Hills, Dr. Ravins took a leap of faith and opened the Center for Holistic Dentistry
“I became concerned about harmful effects of the mercury in amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury,” he explained. “I haven’t done an amalgam filling in 20 years, and I use porcelain or white composites instead. I used to use gold, but not anymore because of the new CAD-CAM system, and I have been following the European dentists by staying metal-free. I had my own amalgams removed 38 years ago.”
Intrigued by the broader field of holistic dentistry, Dr. Ravins explains, Holistic indicates that what is going on in the mouth affects the entire body.
“A very famous Canadian physician,
Sir William Osler, wrote back in the early 1900s that the mouth is a
mirror of the body. He was celebrated as the ‘Father’ of modern clinical medical
practice. I, too, take the position that whatever dentistry is performed in the
mouth affects the general health of the patient. It Is no surprise that holistic
dentistry is becoming more popular in the public’s eye and it is going to become
a much bigger part of general dentistry in the coming decade.”
A First Visit
When a patient first visits Dr. Ravins’ office, they receive a standard dental examination, including checking for periodontal infection.
But the holistic objective is to find hidden infections in the mouth that are not considered the usual dental problems. In many situations, pain is not the primary indicator of a health problem. Detection is accomplished with good quality X-rays, and a comprehensive clinical examination, which includes various levels of dental acupuncture energetic testing.
Included in this comprehensive examination, according to the principles of whole body dentistry, is the BIA or Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, which was developed for NASA in the 1970s to measure body mass and detect cellular health in astronauts. It is a painless way to measure the electrical activity of the cell membranes on the foot to determine whether cells are absorbing nutrients and resisting toxins. It is a good indicator as to whether the immune system is functioning normally and provides an excellent marker for overall wellness.
The safest and easiest way to diagnose the presence of heavy metals in the body is a fecal test, which Dr. Ravins stated provides incontrovertible scientific evidence that many patients suffer from poisoning. The metals measured are mercury, with amalgams and without, lead, nickel, uranium, antimony, tungsten, thallium, platinum, beryllium, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, and copper.
“The Center has been looking for years for an accurate, safe way to determine mercury toxicity,” he said. “We discovered the heavy metal fecal test used in pediatric medicine for years, but that was not very popular with the U.S. medical community.”
At present, Dr. Ravins has more than 200 patients who have been tested for heavy metal in their system before they had amalgam removal.
“I don’t provoke or tell my patients they should have their amalgams taken out because of the mercury,” he said. “I give them literature that discusses the harmful effects of mercury. When they ask me to remove them, I ask them to take the fecal test; most come back with high levels. Yet, according to the American Dental Association, there is no scientific proof that mercury in amalgam is leaking into the body.”
It’s an illogical position, argues Dr. Ravins. “The government’s own scientists agree that mercury is very toxic, we now have tests that show a large number of people have high levels of mercury, so are we going to say that putting mercury in the mouth for a lifetime is not related?”
In fact, although amalgam fillings saved millions of teeth in the past, they have been banned in some European countries for many years, and we now have healthier materials to use instead of amalgam, he points out.
The ADA does say it is okay to remove amalgams at the patient’s request and most dentists will do so cynically, Dr. Ravins commented. But his colleagues are starting to come around. The State Dental Licensing Board no longer requires using mercury amalgams to practice and is the first dental board in the U.S. to take that pioneering position.
“Ten years ago, I would have been considered nuts with all of this, but now the
evidence is hard to deny.”
Once the levels of mercury have been uncovered, it is not as easy as just going in and chiseling out the old amalgams.
“It requires a great deal of experience and understanding, because each patient is so different,” he said. “The periodontal evaluation is extremely important because if you have an infection in the mouth, it can contribute to other infections in the body. But if we do a BIA and the cells aren’t working right, it means something is wrong with the overall cellular health.”
One way of ridding the body of mercury toxins is by using a new detoxification product called Detoxamin, a CaN2 or calcium disodium EDTA time-released suppository, manufactured by World Health Products in Irvine. (EDTA is certified by the FDA for doctors to remove excess lead from the body, and the FDA recently approved research of CaN2 EDTA, indicating that this was effective for removing mercury, as well, and a safer chemical to use).
“Scientific evidence is important because all EDTA suppositories are not alike. Formulas, ingredients, consistency, time-release, and other important aspects that create high absorption of EDTA are all different. If you have used IV EDTA chelation before, you know absorption and bio-availability is the key to performance. Detoxamin is the only viable alternative to IV EDTA chelation in the world,” according to CEO Edward Salmon.
IV EDTA chelation, although efficacious, is expensive, invasive, time-consuming
and inconvenient, he points out, and putting this needed therapy out of reach
for most people.
Acupuncture and Interconnection
“Every medical problem is interconnected throughout the body, which is why, in acupuncture, teeth are tied to different organs,” Dr. Ravins said. “Since the science is there regarding acupuncture, the insurance industry recognized this several years ago. As a certified dental acupuncturist, I use it on almost every patient.
This is part of a new dentistry involving quantum mechanics and energy, which
The Center for Holistic dentistry has documented over the years. Crossing the
midline of the mouth — the conception meridian — with a metal wire or bridge
blocks the energy flow. The symptoms that are cleared can range from headaches,
neck aches, and improved vision, to restored equilibrium and behavior
modifications in children with orthodontic wires.”
For more information, contact the Center for Holistic Dentistry at (310) 207-4617 or visit: www.ravecoholistic.com
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