About Dr. Brightleaf DMD, MAGD, LVIF
Dentist serving Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood, CA
Brightleaf Cosmetic & Holistic Dentistry
I appreciate your taking the time to get to know something about me. I hope that what you learn will move you to allow me to get to know you.
To start with, I practice a holistic approach to dentistry that takes into account a number of factors: Your overall health, your oral health, the latest developments in traditional dentistry, and the most current information on scientifically substantiated natural health and dental practices.
A Scientist At Heart
My background is firmly grounded in science. I graduated from the University of North Carolina with a double major in Math and Chemistry. When I ultimately decided to become a dentist, I started dental school at Emory University where I was ranked #1 in my class. After two years I transferred to the University of Florida dental school where I graduated ahead of schedule and in the top 5% of my class.
The Path to Dental School
Life did not flow from undergraduate school right to dental school, however. During my undergrad years, I had become interested in natural health and healing and had become a presenter for the innovative MD, John McCamy. He had developed a health program involving nutrition, ecological awareness, exercise and stress reduction that impressed me. To this day I follow much of what he taught, including eating a healthful natural, largely vegetarian diet and leading a lifestyle that is compatible with my beliefs about natural and whole body health.
With this background, I became a nutritional counselor in a dental office where I discovered that I loved dentistry. In particular I appreciated its focus on prevention and health. It satisfied a deep desire to support and assist people in gaining better health, and it also allowed expression of my own artistic talents.
Since graduation from dental school in the early 1980’s I have maintained successful dental practices in central and northern Florida, and then established a new dental practice in southern California. I also earned acceptance as a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. This is a professional organization requiring extensive continuing education study and passing a rigorous 400 question admissions examination. More recently, I completed the Masters designation in the Academy. This required completion of a challenging course of 400 hours hands-on study in 16 dental disciplines and a minimum of 200 hours of lecture courses.
A Continual Process of Education In Holistic Dentistry
In order to provide the level of care to patients that I would want for myself, I am continually evaluating and upgrading my knowledge and skills. After spending 25 years studying and applying a highly respected system of occlusion (how the teeth fit together) I recognized that I was not wholly pleased with some of my patients’ healing. I went on a search for other methods and discovered the science of Neuromuscular Dentistry. Now my goal of assisting my patients on their path to whole body optimal health has become a reality.
I value education and I continue to learn more. In the summer of 2010 I completed the highly-regarded LVI Institute's Core Series where comprehensive aesthetic treatment for the dental patient is taught and this summer 2011 I passed an extensive examination covering all the material in the core courses and received the Fellowship award in the Las Vegas Institute. I also earned the designation of Master of General Dentistry (MAGD) from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association dedicated to staying up to date in the dental profession through continuing education to better serve the public. The Mastership award is the highest honor available at the AGD and one of the most respected designations within the profession. To accomplish this goal, the requirement is 1100 hours, I had over 2000 hours.
Expanding Beyond Just Dental Health
Cosmetic and Neuromuscular Dentistry, combined with biocompatible materials, and integrated into the truly holistic system of dentistry I practice, is proving to be profoundly effective in addressing some of the issues that had been puzzling me over the years. We have been particularly effective with correcting TMJ, addressing periodontal disease, alleviating jaw pain and jaw popping, headache relief including migraine symptoms and a number of other symptoms not immediately associated with dental issues. With NMD and my unusually broad scope of health resources, I am finding I am providing even greater levels of relief and true healing to my patients.
Outside My Dental Practice
In addition to cosmetic and holistic dentistry, I pursue meditation and spiritual studies. And for over 20 years I have enjoyed spending relaxing time with horses. I used to ride and I participated in the sport of eventing. However, having gained greater awareness of the horse’s point of view, I no longer ride but have a relationship with my four-year-old half Lusitano in which he chooses what we do together. This includes running, walking, and bucking in the hills of Topanga—while I try to keep up with him on foot. This is how I get my exercise and remain able to meet the demands of a thriving dental practice!
A Holistic Dental Practice, Naturally - PDF download
The Best Whole Body Health Starts in Your Mouth - PDF download
Sleep Apnea: Your Dentist May Have Your Cure - PDF download
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