Tara Kaur: Promoting Holistic Health using Biological and Ecological Dentistry
Dr. Tara Kaur and her team
Tara Kaur, DDS (TKDDS), Edina, is a biological dental clinic and a gold-certified charter member of the Eco-Dentistry Association. Opened in April 2014, TKDDS provides a holistic wellness program that expands beyond caring solely for patients’ teeth.
In a word, TKDDS is about education. “It is not just about what I am seeing in my patients’ mouths,” says Bonnie Flores, TKDDS’ holistic dental hygienist. “I am incorporating all aspects of the person, which includes the emotional, mental and physical. At TKDDS, we offer education and choice which includes many eco-friendly options.”
Flores operates both as a holistic dental hygienist and holistic health coach. Like her coworkers, Flores says working with TKDDS allows her to merge her personal convictions with a professional dental career in ways that conventional dental clinics would not. “I spend a lot of time with each patient,” she explains. “I love it because we go over nutrition, exercise, stress, medication, supplements, herbs, homeopathic remedies, how they feel in their body, etc. I’m very holistic myself and am passionate about educating and empowering patients to take care of their overall health and make informed decisions.”
Clinic director Karlie Elmer couldn’t agree more. “When I am on the telephone with a potential patient, my focus is education,” she says. “So many people have dental anxieties. The first step is to bring the telephone conversation to life by letting people know they are important to us, that we care about them, and that they can feel safe.” TKDDS sees patients from widespread backgrounds, many of whom travel from out-of-state for care, and Elmer believes patient trust begins long before they step into the office.
When patients arrive for their initial visit, Elmer says she often feels she already knows them. “I’m really excited to meet the people with whom I’ve developed a relationship over the phone or email, and I think it shines through when they step into our office. We have such a great environment; it’s open and bright and I can tell they feel comfortable here immediately. I have had so many people tell me ‘I’m just so glad I found you’.”
As a biological dentist, Tara Kaur takes patient treatment to the next level by addressing each person as an individual and adapting standardized dental care programs. “There are thousands of different dental materials and products which can be used, however, what works well in my body may be totally disruptive in your body,” she says. “I do not simply say you need a filling in tooth number two. I explain tooth number two has a cavity and offer education and clinical experience on the different options each patient has for treatment. At TKDDS, we customize solutions for optimal oral health and whole body well-being.” Kaur says she assists her patients in finding which dental materials, products and treatment options are the least disruptive and then allows the patient to make the final decision on the healthiest choices for them.
TKDDS’ gold-certified office offers top-of-the-line, eco-friendly amenities such as a dry vacuum system that prevents thousands of gallons of water from being used each week; a built-in water distiller to reduce the constant influx of plastic water jugs; digital X-rays to reduce radiation exposure by nearly 90 percent; electronic dental records to reduce the use of paper; Energy Star appliances and electronics; and reusable stainless steel dental instruments. Wall paint contains no VOCs; the carpet, flooring and furniture are built from recycled materials; the reception desk is reclaimed natural wood; LED lighting is used exclusively; and an in-house washer and dryer facilitate cloth towels and washable patient napkins. TKDDS provides recycled toothbrushes and biodegradable dental floss and offers a recycling program for toothbrushes. In the future, TKDDS hopes to be as close to a zero-waste business as possible.
Maintaining a practice that is in alignment with the staff’s core values and lifestyles is vital at TKDDS. “Every single decision that went into building this business and its daily practice has an ecological focus to it,” says Kaur. She says her team works hard to find places where they can evolve and improve, be good stewards of the Earth, and also run a successful business. “It is personal, professional and present in every facet of our lives. We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint and make conscious choices, not only for the health and wellness of our patients, but also the environment and our community.”
Tara Kaur, DDS is located at 7701 York Avenue South, Suite 140, Edina. For more information or to schedule an initial appointment call 952-956-6700 or visit TaraKaurDDS.com.