Homeopathy is an alternative medicine technique which states that illnesses can be curved if we administer very small doses of various substances, thus inducing the healing process. The Law of Similars – one of the major elements in homeopathy – refers to the belief that illnesses displaying similar symptoms should be cured with similar substances. At an international medical level, homeopathy is regarded as a pseudoscience; however, there are many organizations and societies which observe and use the practices of homeopathy.
In the field of dentistry, homeopathy has found many uses, some of which quite extensively. Here is a list with the most important ones. Keep in mind that the ethical implications of these practices are limited by the non-interaction of the homeopathic procedures with the medical treatments.
- The use of herbs and other drug-free substances to reduce oral inflammation. Such herbs are chamomile, calendula, Echinacea, orangeroot, and willow. Doses are small, but persistent and can be also intended to prevent oral inflammation in the long run.
- The use of various substances to reduce analgesia. These techniques are questioned, as they are most likely to interfere with the standard medical practices and treatments.
- Treating infections has also been one of the targets of homeopathic treatments. Plants like orangeroot are known to have such effects. At the same time, medical organizations advice against such a practice in the absence of a classic antibiotic treatment.
- Managing fear during conventional treatments or anxiety before treatments. These are both perspectives with potentially positive effects on patients, as the simple idea that this part of their problem is taken care of induces calmness.
- The use of some plants to accelerate the healing process and to reduce the discomfort in the oral cavity during treatment.
The general critique against this technique is related to the Placebo effect. However, any conventional treatment has a Placebo dimension and separating that from the real facts is virtually impossible.
Even if there is no proof that ultra-molecular dilutions are physiologically active, there have been reported many randomized controlled trials that have proven the positive effects of homeopathy. How and if they really work is still a mystery, but this shouldn’t impede us to use them as long as we’re well in the limits of the ethical values stipulated initially.