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Natural Awakenings San Diego

The New World of Dentistry: The Gateway to your Overall Wellness

Mar 29, 2012 10:27AM ● By LeRoy Williams

Drs. Godes and Marvin

When most people think of the dentist, they think of the whir of the drill, the sterile waiting room, and pain... all in the name of clean teeth. But Drs. Marvin and Godes at The Center for Natural Dentistry in Encinitas are at the forefront of a movement to alter those perceptions.

“We want people to stop thinking about clean teeth and pain when they go to the dentist and start thinking about overall health and wellness,” says Dr. Marvin, holistic dentist and founder of The Center for Natural Dentistry, who is leading a paradigm shift in dentistry.

“I want to make a difference in the lives of my patients so I am working to shift the present standard from dentistry as a ‘last resort’ approach to one of whole-body health that begins with healthy teeth,” explains Marvin, who credits a patient for introducing him to holistic medicine several years after graduating from Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 2000.

After college and a residency program, Marvin set up a “traditional” dental practice in San Antonio, Texas. Like most dentists, Marvin practiced everything he was taught in dental school: mercury amalgam fillings, fluoride treatments, root canals, and lots of metal. However, as part of his personal quest for better health, he began to discover a growing body of research that revealed these traditional practices to be detrimental to the overall health, even if they solve the dental problem.

“Everyone knows mercury is a highly toxic substance, yet we were handling it and using it on a daily basis because that’s what we were taught to do. But the more I looked at it and studied it, the more I came to realize that it just didn’t add up. Why would we use toxic materials when our goal is to get people healthy?” says Marvin while contemplating the turning point in his career.

And quite the turning point it was. After selling his Texas practice, Marvin and his family eventually relocated to San Diego where he set up The Center for Natural Dentistry and began providing truly healthy dentistry.

“We use a variety of alternative treatments in our practice,” says Marvin. “In many traditional practices, the dentist may only spend 10 minutes with you before deciding on treatment. You’re pushed out the door with an expensive appointment on the calendar and little to no knowledge of why you need it or what the possible side effects are.”

So what makes holistic dentistry different? “We just do things differently,” says Marvin. “Most new patients are at our office two hours just talking with the dentist and trying to figure out what the best options are for you, as an individual. We really need to spend a lot of time listening to our patients before we can ever start to think about proposing treatments.”

The Center for Natural Dentistry certainly does offer a different experience. It all starts with the listening first, followed by thorough biocompatibility testing to ensure that any materials used in your mouth are also good for your entire body.

“We don’t just stay away from mercury fillings,” says Godes, who joined the practice in 2011. “I’ve never worked in a dental practice that offers a greater variety of composite (white) fillings —we have a different filling for just about everyone, just to make sure we use the best possible solution for every patient. We treat everyone as an individual and it’s exciting to be a part of.”

Godes chose a career in the dental profession as a way to help people achieve their goals related to overall health and well-being. Since joining The Center for Natural Dentistry she has enjoyed the opportunity to pursue her passion for combining the art and science of dentistry with health and healing. “It was easier to join Dr. Marvin, who has long been an advocate for whole body health, than it was to transform my general practice in Arizona. We are really helping people here and it feels good—it’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” says Godes, who spent several years studying the benefits of ozone therapy in dentistry before implementing the treatment at The Center for Natural Dentistry.

Ozone therapy is a newer form of alternative dental treatment offered in very few practices. When used properly, it has been proven effective at halting tooth decay, curing sensitivity, preventing root canals, and reversing gum disease, among other uses.

“By utilizing the different applications of ozone such as ozonized water, ozonized oils, and ozone itself, we are able to do eliminate a lot of more invasive procedures and their associated side effects,” advises Godes. “The results we get across a variety of uses are just incredible. We have even been able to completely halt tooth decay without having to use a drill.”

The differences don’t stop there. While biocompatibility testing, 3D imaging, ceramic dental implants, ozone therapy, BPA-free fillings, and metal-free restorations are great benefits, perhaps the most important difference between The Center for Natural Dentistry and your previous dental experiences is education. Marvin and Godes relish the opportunity to educate their patients on how to not only solve their dental problems with a healthier approach, but also how to prevent those dental problems from recurring in the future.

“If all we did was fix teeth, we would doing our patients a disservice,” says Marvin. “Our goal is restore their oral health, all while educating them on the proper ways to naturally prevent dental problems in the future. The best dentistry is no dentistry—if our patients never have to come back, we did our job perfectly.”

From listening to providing safer, alternative treatments to educating patients, The Center for Natural Dentistry is not your typical dental practice...but hopefully someday their type of dentistry will be the rule, rather than the exception.

The Center for Natural Dentistry is located at 317 N. El Camino Real, Ste. 106 in Encinitas. Call 760-659-2225 or visit

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