Dentistry techniques have come on leaps and bounds in recent decades, and now many more things are possible in terms of repairing damaged teeth or making cosmetic improvements to a patient’s smile. Although the results achieved by these procedures can be dramatic, they often involve invasive procedures such as surgery which causes discomfort or pain to the patient. As a consequence of this, many patients are beginning to look around for other types of dentistry which reduces the need for costly and extensive work. One of these types of dentistry is called minimally invasive dentistry.
How Does It Work?
The theory behind minimally invasive dentistry is that the cosmetic dentist performs the least amount of dentistry possible to maintain the teeth in an excellent condition. Modern techniques and materials mean that dentists can save far more of the patient’s teeth than previously. When a patient visits a dentist who works along these lines, the patient will first undergo a thorough check up where the dentist will assess the risk of tooth decay. The dentist will then explain the best strategy to reduce this risk.
There are many specific techniques associated with minimally invasive dentistry. Some of the most important are:
- Sealants. These are a plastic seal which fit around the teeth which the dentist feels are likely to become decayed in the future.
- Air abrasion. This technique is used to treat decay on the teeth and is similar to sand blasting on a very fine level. It is used instead of traditional drilling, and is sometimes carried out without the use of anesthetic.
- Remineralization. This process means restoring the natural minerals to the teeth. The most important mineral for healthy teeth and gums is fluoride.
- Onlays and Inlays. Inlays are similar to fillings, but are especially made to fit the hole in the tooth. Onlays are used when the teeth require more extensive work, and unlike a crown, do not require as much of the tooth to be removed.
- Bite splints. Tooth grinding is the root cause of many dental problems, and if the dentist thinks that tooth grinding is a problem, he may fit a bite splint to be worn at night to try to prevent any dental problems caused by this.
Does my Dentist Use These Techniques?
At midtown dentistry our houston cosmetic dentist tries to use these techniques at all times. Even if your dentist does not advertise themselves as using only minimally invasive techniques, most dentists are happy to use these techniques when requested and will routinely use them to avoid putting patients through more procedures that are necessary.