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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Meet Minnesota’s First Accredited Holistic Dentist, Amy Ha Truong, DDS

Amy Truong, DDS Pure Dental

Crooked teeth. Check. Cavities. Check. Sensitive gums. Check. Growing up, I was the black sheep of the family when it came to teeth; oh, let’s be real, for my overall health. I was petite, “frail” they used to say. You would think this would whip me into shape, make me a health nut, but one thing about being a black sheep is you make black wool. And black wool I did. I pulled it over my eyes and disregarded it until I was in my mid-30s.

Up until then I had been pretty lucky health-wise. I had grown up taking dance classes. I looked and felt healthy enough, but this had been an especially stressful week. I was getting regular headaches at the end of the work day. “Too much screen time,” I thought. “Need to hydrate,” I’d tell myself. One day the headaches got worse and were unrelenting. The only thing I could do was pop painkillers day after day. I became worried.

I went to my doctor. She said painkillers three to five times a week were completely normal. And that was that. She sent me home. A few days later, I was in my dentist’s office for a long overdue cleaning. My dentist asked how I was. I said “great, except for these recurring headaches.” She said, “I noticed you’ve been grinding your teeth. Are you stressed?” Then she proceeded to show me stress points in my head and neck that I didn’t even know I had. That day I learned my stress was causing me to tense the muscles in my head. She showed me some easy ways to help relax my face to ease the headaches. She also gave me a retainer to wear during sleep so I wouldn’t continue to wear down my teeth from grinding.

Just like that, my headaches were gone. “What was this magic?” I asked. “Holistic dentistry,” my dentist answered. “What’s that?” I asked. “As a holistic dentist, I’m seeing you as a whole person and care about your overall health,” she said. After being brushed off by my doctor a few days prior, my dentist made me feel heard and supported.

I immediately wanted to learn more about holistic dentistry. In my research, I learned that my dentist, Amy Ha Truong, was Minnesota’s first accredited holistic dentist. How cool. On my quest to learn more, I asked if she would join me on a Q&A interview and she kindly obliged.

Q: Dr. Truong, I now know you are an accredited holistic dentist; how is that different from a regular dentist?

A: Holistic dentists and regular dentists go through the same initial schooling. I was trained and certified as a holistic dentist post-graduation after having worked at a holistic dental office and living in Los Angeles for a while to gain more training as a holistic dentist.

Q: How long ago was this? How come I had never heard of holistic dentistry?

A: Holistic dentistry isn’t new—I’ve been practicing it for almost 10 years. In fact, it’s practiced internationally, but in some communities it is definitely a newer approach to dentistry.

Q: How was holistic dentistry different for you?

A: When I discovered the holistic approach, it actually felt familiar. When I was young and I had a tummy ache, my mom would use pressure points and herbal medicines to help. I realized holistic dentistry aligned with my family’s philosophy. This holistic way of thinking made me more mindful about the products we use with patients, down to the gluten- and fluoride-free paste during their cleanings. I also became more considerate of patients’ medical histories. For example, for people with acid reflux, regular flossing and brushing just isn’t going to be enough. For my practice this means training staff and providing extra services such as an ozone machine, safe amalgam removal equipment and digital X-rays.

Q: Sounds like you really care for the overall health of an individual. What if a health issue arises that is outside the scope of a holistic dental practice?

A: I’m glad you asked. I often discuss with patients alternative approaches, allergies or sensitivities, or even natural approaches to healing which may require expert advice from other specialists. One of the best things I like about being a part of the natural health industry is I get to partner with and refer patients to practitioners that can help with other holistic and natural health services, such as naturopaths, acupuncturists or functional medicine doctors, for example, who can help with detoxification and other natural health resources.

Q: I wish all health providers took this approach. What advice do you have for someone who is on the fence about taking better care of their oral health?

A: Our role as dentists is to give you options for improving your oral health. It doesn’t matter if you have good or bad teeth. We often hear people are scared of the unknown or of the pain. It’s important to us that you understand what’s in store before, during and after your visit. We’ve been told our patients like our extra communication and that we provide natural options. They say it makes them feel like they’re in the driver’s seat.

Q: Final question. Have you always had perfect teeth?

A: Haha, that’s a myth. Dentists may have imperfect teeth, just like anyone else. Growing up, I had silver fillings. Patients are often surprised I have had fillings, not to mention silver fillings. When I was in dental school, I learned they were made of 50 percent mercury. I realized there was a lot to dental health that patients should know about. Since then, I have had safe removal of my silver fillings and I am also accredited with IAOMT to provide extra safety precautions for my patients.

At Pure Dental, they combine conventional and holistic health to guide their patients toward dental wellness. They take pride in providing each patient with the individual attention needed by practicing high-quality care dentistry, using the most up-to-date technology and continually seeking educational opportunities to ensure they remain abreast of the latest techniques and treatment options in holistic and family dental care. They are accepting new patients and look forward to building a relationship with you.

Pure Dental is located at 6230 10th St. N., Ste. 520, Oakdale. For more information and appointments, call 651-731-3064 or visit See ad page 34 in the print edition.

Dr Amy Ha Truong

Pure Dental - Oakdale, MN

Pure Dental offers integrative, holistic, alternative and biological dentistry for your dental health. We take pride in providing quality, holistic dental care and service for our patien... Read More »