Biological Dentistry, Holistic Dentistry, Integrative Wellness, Ozone Therapy…. what does all of that mean? And why is is it important? Dr. Katie To is a local mom and runs an award winning practice here in Katy, Center for Integrative Wellness & Cosmetic Dentistry. They provides a wide range of services to meet each member of your family’s needs, from pediatric dentistry and airway orthodontics, to comprehensive adult care and natural smile makeovers. Dr. Katie and her dental care specialists have had extensive training in cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, laser dentistry and biological wellness dentistry. They are proud to be the first and only office in Katy and surrounding area to offer mercury safe and mercury free with Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) certified, dental ozone therapy and biocompatible dentistry. Again, what does all of that mean? So, we sat down with Dr. Katie to have those questions answered, learn why it’s important, and learn more about Dr. Katie’s passion for it all.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
My family is originally from Vietnam, migrated to Minnesota and after I graduated high school, I moved to Texas for college. My husband and I have lived in the Katy area since 2015 when I transitioned to an existing dental practice here.
You are a mama, too! How many kiddos do you have and what are their ages?
I have a beautiful little boy named Bailey. He is 3 and a half years old and is very happy and friendly. Bailey loves to play soccer and is attending Cinco Ranch Montessori school.
When did you decide you wanted to be a dentist and what inspired that decision?
I originally went to college for marketing and found my passion for dentistry when I volunteered at Mission Arlington, a charity organization near my college campus. There was not enough help with the dental clinic and I was asked to assist whenever I was there. Seeing patients’ smiles and appreciation for the care that they received, I was inspired to serve and pursued dentistry because of that.
Where did you attend school?
I graduated summa cum laude from University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. I then attended University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio Dental School and graduated with distinction in research and multiple awards in Cosmetic Dentistry. My pursuit of knowledge has continued past my degrees and is something that I will continue to pursue for the rest of my life. The learning never stops.
What made you decide to open your own practice as opposed to joining an already established one?
I spent a few years working as an associate and it was a great place to build my skill set and gain experience. What I found was that I have a passion for taking great care of patients on a broader scale. By opening my own practice I have been able to take control of the way I practice and make sure my patients receive care that takes a whole body wellness approach.
When did you start your own practice, Center for Integrative Wellness and Cosmetic Dentistry here in Katy?
It is my great honor to carry the legacy of Dr. Ron Ritsco, a well respected prosthodontist and continues to provide excellent care to his patients since 2015.
Tell us more about your dental center, what makes it unique and different from other practices?
My Center for Integrative Wellness & Cosmetic Dentistry brings together a unique combination of biological and cosmetic dentistry that helps patients achieve optimal dental health and a beautiful smile for life. We focus on a whole body approach and work with functional doctors, naturopaths, dieticians, nutritionists, chiropractors and other medical specialists that help our patients achieve their health goals. By working together we can get the root cause of their problems and not just treat the symptoms.
What is biological dentistry?
The word “biological” refer to life. Biological dentistry unites the best clinical practices and technologies of Western dental medicine with a wide array of practices beyond its horizon. Biological dentistry is conservative and focused on whole body wellness with the most bio-compatible materials and techniques.
What is Holistic dentistry and why is that important to you and your dental center?
Holistic dentistry is also called biological dentistry, it is a whole-body approach. This means we want to make sure what we take care of you as a whole and not just your teeth. You can’t have healthy body and healthy mind without healthy mouth.
Why should someone consider being a patient at a biological and holistic dentist clinic rather than the norm?
Health is your true wealth. I have learned this the very hard way after being diagnosed with mercury toxicity by 3 different doctors. Since I have all my natural teeth without any history of mercury filling, the source of exposure was from the work environment in dental offices. Healing takes time and I am still recovering from the mercury toxicity, I’m determined to practice not only mercury free but also mercury safe and educate and help patients to reclaim their health.
Since you consider whole body wellness, what foods, diet, and vitamins are the best to promote good oral health?
We are each unique individuals with different DNA, background, and health history. Therefore we always customize our approach and what we recommend. We always advise patients to make good choices in their eating habits like staying away from processed sugar, consuming less caffeine, and if needed following an anti-inflammatory diet. Food is medicine. Remember you are what you eat.
What is ozone therapy and how is it used in your office?
Ozone therapy has been used successfully for the treatment of various diseases for more than a decade. Its unique properties include immunostimulant, analgesic, antihypnotic, detoxicating, antimicrobial, bioenergetic and biosynthetic actions. Its atraumatic, painless, non invasive nature, and relative absence of discomfort and side effects increase the patient’s acceptability and compliance In dentistry, we apply ozone to treat teeth sensitivity, prevent root canals in very deep cavities , and disinfect gum disease.
Do you also treat snoring and sleep apnea?
Snoring is one of many symptoms in both children and adults with airway issues. It could be sinus issues, deviated septum or enlarged tonsils. Tongue ties and lip ties are also contributing factors. We screen and provide comprehensive wellness exams for each of our patients. Together with an exceptional team of ENT doctors, pediatric dentists, orthodontists and periodontists, we help patients by managing the condition whether it is oral appliances to reverse the condition with surgery, skeletal expansion to increase airway.
One of the most helpful tools and very first step in many adult’s snoring and suspected sleep apnea screening is our home sleep test kit. Patients can take the test at home with comfort and ease. Within the same week, we sit down and review the results that were signed and interpreted by a board certified sleep physician.
What other services does the Center for Integrative Wellness & Cosmetic Dentistry offer?
We also are the specialists of a Holistic Oral Analysis, Airway Orthodontics, Tongue Tie Release and Oral Myofunctional, Oral DNA testing, Digital Bite Analysis, non-minimal cosmetic bonding and many more. Don’t hesitate to check out our websites and follow us on our social media at @KatieToCenter.
Advice for anyone wanting to start their own practice?
Starting a dental practice is definitely rewarding and challenging at the same time. My #1 advice is getting the right help from the start. You cannot and should not do it alone. Find the people that did it well and learn from them.
Future plans for your practice?
We are extremely blessed to have the opportunity to help so many patients. On top of that, we are teaching dentists clinical skills and coaching them on leadership skills via KT Dental Seminars. If we can help one dentist, we indirectly can help many more patients to achieve the healthy smile, healthy body and healthy mind.
To learn more about Dr. Katie To and Center for Integrative Wellness & Cosmetic Dentistry:
Location: 2910 Commercial Center Blvd., Suite 101, Katy, TX 77494
Instagram: @KatieToCenter and @DrKatieTo
Facebook: @KatieToCenter and @DrKatieTo