|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
August 2, 2014
Minimally invasive dentistry, also known as micro-dentistry, has a main goal of conserving the largest portion of the healthy tooth structure as possible. It focuses on prevention, remineralization, and minimal dentist intervention. With all the new advancements in the field of science and dentistry, minimally invasive dentistry allows dentist to perform the least amount of dentistry needed while never removing more of the tooth structure than is required to restore teeth to their normal condition. It also allows dentists to use long-lasting dental materials that conserve the maximum tooth structure so the need for future repairs is reduced.
How it Works
During your dental visit your dentist will evaluate your risk for tooth decay. Some of the factors that contribute to decay are the presence of bacteria, quality and quantity of saliva, and your diet. Then your dentist will use strategies to prevent or reduce your risk of developing tooth decay. For instance, if you are at a higher risk level of developing oral bacteria, you will probably advised to use mouthwash daily, limit your intake of certain carbohydrates and practice better oral hygiene.
There are many different techniques that dentists can utilize when performing minimally invasive dentistry.
- Remineralization: This is the process of restoring minerals. It can repair damage that was created by the demineralization process. Fluoride plays a very important and big role in remineralization.
- Air abrasion: When there is still decay particles present on the tooth, your dentist can use air abrasion to remove the decay. This is used instead of a traditional drill and limits the need for anesthesia. Air abrasion resembles microscopic sand blasting. It uses a stream of air combined with super abrasive powder to remove the decay.
- Sealants: Dental sealants are used to protect teeth from the decay causing bacteria. They are usually made out of plastic resin. Sealants fit into the grooves and depressions of the tooth to act like a barrier, protecting the tooth surface against acid and plaque. Sealants don’t require any cutting of the tooth and can be placed on the teeth that might be susceptible for decay at any time.
- Inlays and onlays: Dentists typically use crowns to restore a tooth. But they can use inlays and onlays to do the same thing, but they do not require a large amount of the tooth structure to be removed. Inlays are similar to fillings except they are custom made to fit a cavity in the tooth. They are typically the same color as the tooth or gold colored. Onlays are used when more substantial reconstruction is required. It too does not require your dentist to remove as much of the tooth as a crown would.
- Bite splints: Grinding the teeth (bruxism) is a condition that can cause serious damage to the teeth and can require you to need crowns. Many people grind their teeth while they are sleeping. Grinding, which often begins in your teenage years or early 20’s, can be detected and corrected before much damage has been done. Dentists can create bite splints for you to wear at night or during stressful times when most teeth-grinding occurs.
If you are interested in minimally invasive dentistry, just ask your dentist if they are practicing it. Today most dentists use some of its techniques in their everyday practice without you even knowing it.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.