As the field of dentistry advances and the use of technology in the field increases, the concept of minimally invasive dentistry has emerged. Preservation of a healthy set of natural teeth for each patient should be the objective of every dentist. Minimally invasive dentistry is characterized by the following core beliefs:
- Regard original tissue as more valuable than its artificial counterpart.
- Preserve, rather than replace, original tissue.
- Focus on the prevention of disease above its treatment.
- When treatment is necessary, use invasive means as little as possible.
- Prevention begins with good oral hygiene.
- Dental caries are considered an infectious disease.
- Early detection of caries and other diseases can prevent the spread of infection and, consequently, further damage to healthy tissue.
- Infection control can reduce the incidence of restoration practices by as much as 50 percent.
- Focus on remineralization of enamel and dentin as a preventive effort in treating caries.
Our team at Baker & Graham Dental will tell you the goal of minimally invasive dentistry is to preserve as much original tissue as possible. The preservation of original tissue leaves a tooth stronger in structure than one which has been modified through invasive measures.
When a restoration, such as a filling, must be made to a tooth, a greater amount of healthy tooth tissue than actual decayed tissue is often removed. An estimated 50 to 71 percent of the work a dentist completes involves repair or replacement of previous restorations. The use of durable restoration materials decreases the need for later repair or restoration work.
Tooth tissue can be preserved at a greater percentage through the use of innovative adhesive materials. Glass ionomer cements release minerals into the surrounding tooth tissue and help prevent future cavities. Resin-based composite and dentin bonding agents are designed to bond to the enamel and preserve it.
New technology and the invention of small, hand-held tools allow for a less-invasive form of restoration. One such form is air abrasion, a technique that involves using powerful air pressure to direct aluminum oxide particles toward the tooth, which results in a gentler, less-damaging cut to the tooth.
For more information about minimally-invasive surgeries, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Baker and Dr. Graham, please give us a call at our convenient Hattiesburg, MS office!