DeFelice Dentistry Pioneering Integrative Dental Practices in Spokane
Jan 01, 2020 08:40PM
by Sheila Julson
Entering the dentistry profession was an easy choice for Dr. Louise DeFelice. Her father, Dr. Armand DeFelice, founded DeFelice Dentistry in 1960. “I always admired him for being a nice, service-oriented man,” she says. “He’s well known in Spokane, and he was very influential in my decision to become a dentist.”
DeFelice worked with her father for 22 years. When he retired in 2012 at age 79, she took over his practice. Today, DeFelice, along with her associate, Dr. Alex Hook, continues to practice the holistic philosophies used by her father. “We kept an integrative dentistry philosophy, but modernized it with technology,” she says, noting that people are becoming more educated about safer, toxic-free approaches toward healthcare, and there’s a growing awareness of how oral health affects the entire body.
In addition to providing general dentistry services, DeFelice Dentistry integrates holistic services such as the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique, or SMART, a certification available through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). Because metal tooth fillings, or amalgams, contain mercury, IAOMT developed a protocol to safely remove them and replace them with non-metal fillings. During the SMART procedure, the patient, the doctor and the technicians are all draped, and the filling is removed while the tooth is sprayed with water to eliminate mercury vapor. The room is thoroughly ventilated during the process.
“We’ve been offering this for decades,” DeFelice shares. “Not only is it safer for patients, but it’s safer for us, as well. It’s also better for the environment because there are special collection techniques and processing on the back end, so the mercury is not just being dumped into our drinking water.”
Once the tooth filling is ready to be replaced, DeFelice Dentistry uses ORMOCER brand organically modified ceramic fillings that are free from products such as bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxins found in some dental materials. They offer biocompatible materials testing to test for sensitivities, and the office also has impressions technology on site to provide patients with digital same-day crowns and ceramic implants made from zirconia, one of the strongest naturally occurring dental materials available.
DeFelice Dentistry integrates ozone treatment into most routine dental procedures, including fillings, crowns and cleanings. Ozone is a powerful natural antimicrobial that kills bacteria and viruses while promoting healing. DeFelice says it eliminates almost any post-operation sensitivity, so people have little to no discomfort after dental visits. They also use ozone during and after extractions to expedite healing. “It’s a great alternative to chemicals like fluoride, because it’s all natural and nontoxic,” she explains. “It’s also good for periodontal issues because it fosters healing, while killing bacteria and viruses that lurk in pockets around the teeth.”
In addition, DeFelice Dentistry treats breathing disorders such as sleep apnea with a non-invasive oral appliance therapy that can be worn as a mouth guard while sleeping.
DeFelice and her team strive to provide a customer service oriented practice in a warm, friendly environment. “We want people to feel safe, comfortable and welcome, while providing top-notch dentistry,” she says. “I’m on a mission to really help patients get well through education and prevention, while providing compassionate, personalized care.”
DeFelice Dentistry also engages the community through quarterly service work. They recently collected for Teen and Kid’s Closet, a nonprofit that provides clothing to foster children throughout Spokane. The office staff also provided volunteer hours at Second Harvest food bank sorting food during the holidays. DeFelice is also involved with the local autism community.
As awareness of natural health approaches continues to grow, DeFelice believes integrative dentistry will become standard care. “Much of your overall health begins with oral health and your airway,” she concludes. “Integrative dentistry is the way of the future.”
DeFelice Dentistry is located at
4703 N. Maple St., Spokane. For more information, call 509-850-0918 or visit DeFeliceDentistry.com.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.