At our practice, we use minimally invasive dentistry, also known as micro-dentistry. This practice focuses on stopping cavities early and without excessive drilling, removal of enamel, or gum loss. Micro-dentistry has been proven to make a significant difference for patients of any age with dental anxiety.
Treatment employs techniques to help preserve tooth structure without overuse of “drilling and filling” and other invasive measures. Just as the word implies, this type of dentistry concentrates on using the least amount of dental intervention to conserve the health of your teeth. In minimally invasive operative dentistry, the removal of any part of a tooth structure is kept to only the minimal amount necessary to restore the tooth to its optimum state. In modern dentistry, we can accomplish this using the latest scientific advances.
The techniques used in minimally invasive dentistry include those that focus on prevention, remineralization, and minimally invasive restoration.
We start by evaluating your risk for decay and assessing your oral health and the current condition of your mouth and teeth. Strategies to reduce the risk of decay, such as dietary changes, may be recommended. 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.
Remineralization consists of restoring minerals to the tooth structure. When teeth are porous, decay can occur more quickly. Fluoride therapy is essential and often used to remineralize teeth in this process. Dental sealants, generally constructed of plastic resin, also protect teeth from bacteria, acid, plaque, and potential decay. Sealants, when placed into the grooves of a tooth, form a durable barrier against harmful substances. Sealants can be fitted on any teeth which are vulnerable to decay.
The use of onlays and inlays as opposed to crowns to restore a tooth is another minimally invasive dentistry technique. 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 more in-depth or broader reconstruction is needed. It also requires less removal of the tooth structure.
Bite splints are another minimally invasive dental measure and are used to prevent the grinding of the teeth, called bruxism. This harmful habit often occurs 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 worn at night or when any stress occurs, giving your teeth the protection they need.
All of the above are various 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.
Call Dr. Monica Crooks at (916) 922-2027 and ask about minimally invasive dentistry treatment for you and your family. Don’t let your fear stop anyone from getting the dental care they need!
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