Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID)
The goal of minimally invasive dentistry is to conserve healthy tooth structure and to extend the lifetime of restored teeth with as little intervention as possible. It focuses on prevention, remineralization, and minimal dentist intervention. This means less dentistry is performed as dental materials are used to conserve maximum tooth structure so the need for future repairs is reduced.
How is MID Accomplished?
- Preventive Resin Restorations
- Conservative Gum Disease Treatment
- Occlusal Splints (nightguards)
- Digital Radiography
Sealants: A plastic resin is used to protect teeth from bacteria and plaque. Sealants are placed into grooves and depressions in the teeth and act as a barrier against acid and plaque. The grooves are cleaned with a laser (Waterlase) before sealants are placed to ensure plaque has been removed.
Preventive Resin Restorations: These are placed when there appears to be minimal decay in a tooth. The decay is first verified with Diagnodent (laser cavity detection). Then decay is removed using Waterlase technology, allowing for minimal damage to the tooth structure and placement of small fillings, which is the optimal choice.
Conservative Gum Disease Treatment: When a person is diagnosed with moderate periodontal disease (gum disease), the dental hygienist can easily treat the problem by means of frequent visits for scaling and polishing, herbal/essential oil rinses, oxygen-based rinses, tongue cleaning, and increased patient education. This conservative approach prevents the trauma of tooth removal, which can be necessary when gum disease goes untreated.
Inlays/Onlays: Inlays are similar to fillings with the exception that they are custom made in a lab to fit the cavity in your tooth. Inlays are made of porcelain and match the color of your tooth.
Onlays are used when more tooth structure has to be removed due to decay or fracture. Onlays require less tooth structure to be removed than for a crown.
Inlays and onlays are laser bonded to each tooth with special materials. This maintains the original color and shape of the tooth, strengthens the tooth, and prevents cracking, resulting in optimal esthetics and long-term durability.
Occlusal Splints (nightguards): Many people grind their teeth at night or clench during periods of stress, starting in patients as young as 20 years old. With time, grinding and clenching wear teeth down. Wearing a nightguard at night or in times of stress can prevent the invasive destruction and expensive placement of crowns.
Digital Radiography: Digital radiography reduces the amount of radiation dental patients receive by 90%, with the advantage of less accumulative radiation exposure during treatment.