Minimally Invasive Dentistry
The techniques used in minimally invasive dentistry include those that focus on prevention, remineralization, and minimally invasive restoration.
We start by assessing the health of your mouth and teeth and evaluating your risk for decay. Strategies are implemented to reduce any risk for decay, through dietary and other means. Reducing carbohydrates and sugars, adding the use of a daily mouthwash to decrease bacteria, and introducing other types of oral hygiene are examples of these methods.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Remineralization consists of restoring minerals to tooth structure. When teeth are porous, decay can occur more easily. Fluoride therapy is often used to remineralize teeth and is an important factor in this process. Dental sealants, generally constructed of plastic resin, also protect teeth from bacteria, acid, plaque, and potential decay. These are placed into the grooves of the tooth forming a durable barrier against such substances. Sealants can be fitted on any teeth which are vulnerable to decay.
Another minimally invasive technique is to use onlays and inlays as opposed to crowns to restore a tooth. Onlays and inlays do not require as much removal of a tooth as does a crown. An inlay is like a filling that is tailor-made to the cavity of the tooth and cemented into place. As a minimally invasive alternative to direct restoration, it can provide excellent protection against future decay. An onlay may be used where a deeper or larger reconstruction is needed. It also requires less removal of the tooth structure.
Bite splints are another type of minimally invasive dental measure which is used to prevent grinding of the teeth, called bruxism. This harmful habit is often done in stressful situations or at night while sleeping. Grinding of the teeth can cause significant damage if not detected and prevented. A bite splint can be made for wear at night or when any type of stress occurs which will give your teeth the protection they need.
All of the above are the ways in which we can help conserve the long-term structure and health of your teeth without creating the possibility of future deterioration from overly invasive practices.