When many of us think of dental procedures, images of fillings and drills may come to mind. This is understandable since modern dentistry has relied greatly on these methods and tools to treat oral diseases. This may be changing, though, as more minimally invasive dentistry techniques are gaining popularity within the industry.
What exactly do these kinds of techniques entail? Why are they on the rise and, more importantly, will they actually be more beneficial for us in the long run?
Our latest blog explains.
What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?
To begin with, it’s only fair that we clarify what minimally invasive dentistry is. Put simply, it’s any dental practice that aims to treat and prevent the progression of oral disease while causing the least amount of oral tissue loss. It can also be referred to as microdentistry.
An example of a minimally invasive dental technique is resin infiltration. This is performed to treat enamel lesions (“hypo” spots), which is a form of plaque accumulation.
This involves a special resin which acts as a sealant once hardened with a special light, and is considered a preventative measure.
What makes Minimally Invasive Dentistry different?
Where minimally invasive dentistry takes things a step further than other dental techniques is its greater emphasis on risk assessment and disease prevention.
Drilling at tooth lesions treats the symptoms, but it doesn’t treat or prevent the underlying condition causing them. In other words, it’s a more superficial solution.
Minimally invasive dentistry aims to spot the problem in its early stages before drastic measures must be taken. Also, greater effort is taken to assess a patient’s risk factors for disease so as to prevent one from developing later.
Why is it helpful for patients?
Minimally invasive dentistry is grabbing more dentists’ attention, but why should patients care about it?
Here are some reasons:
- More positive dentist experience
Many people dislike the experience of more invasive procedures because of the discomfort and pain that patients may feel during or after. Implementing less invasive techniques, often lessens the negative experience of the procedure.
- Avoid the ‘death spiral of a tooth
As fillings tend to last less than a decade, they may need to be replaced several times throughout a patient’s life span. With each replacement, more tooth will be drilled away. This means less healthy tooth structure will be available to work with, and some dentists have referred to this as the ‘death spiral of a tooth’.
Minimally invasive dentistry should hopefully help dentists and patients avoid this scenario from happening.
- More thorough, well-rounded dental solutions
As mentioned earlier, minimally invasive dentistry involves catching oral diseases in their early stages to better prevent and treat them. Rather than focusing on treating symptoms, other factors that will help treat and prevent the disease are considered.
Minimally invasive dentistry is not a completely new concept, but recognition of its value is becoming more visible. This can be seen in its integration into earlier stages of dentistry education.
Whilst they’ll never completely replace other procedures, the wider usage of minimally invasive dental procedures should help more people have a more comfortable dental experience.
If you’re looking for a Karana Downs dentist with knowledge of minimally invasive dental techniques, Karalee Family Dental has got you covered.
Call 07 3281 4122 or book your appointment online today.
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