Minimally invasive dentistry is a philosophy of practice whose main tenet is a preservation of healthy tooth, gum, and other tissues of the oral cavity. This is achieved first and foremost by advocating preventative care as well as practicing treatment protocols that respect and prefer preservation of healthy tissue because it is of greater biological value than prosthetics or other artificial structures.
Some examples of our approach and application of this philosophy include:
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver Diamine Fluoride is the preferred treatment option for young and special needs children owing to the fact there is no need for drilling or anesthesia. This topical antimicrobial ‘paint’ is applied directly to treat and prevent cavities. It actually helps re-mineralize tooth enamel.
Advantages of SDF
By preventing or reducing the severity of the condition, SDF can reduce or totally eliminate the need for more extensive (and expensive) treatment, and the discomfort which can accompany such care.
- SDF helps reduce tooth sensitivity
- SDF can actually re-mineralize affected teeth
- When used every six months, SDF has been shown to eliminate 80% of cavities
- SDF is simple and fast to apply: there is no discomfort associated with this treatment
Reasons to potentially consider other treatment alternatives include:
If a cavity is extensive, the resulting hole may be difficult to keep clean, requiring a future restoration.
While up to eighty percent of cavities are prevented, the remaining twenty percent that are unaffected may end up requiring a conventional treatment such as a dental filling.
The Hall Technique
Another minimally-invasive dental therapy option to consider when there is significant decay on your child’s back teeth is The Hall Technique. Using this protocol, existing decay is sealed through the use of a custom-fittedcrown usually fabricated from stainless steel. The result is no need for drilling or anesthesia.
Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Technique
This procedure, which typically goes by the acronym SMART, is yet another option for a tooth that was previously treated using SDF. The material used is a glass Ionomer cement that is white in appearance, making it an excellent choice for front teeth.
Advantage of SMART
- It’s white appearance makes it less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing
- It is both durable and, because it uses no metal, is considered to be biocompatible
- It is another minimally invasive dentistry therapy
One factor to consider when choosing SMART is that, if an SDF scar is large enough, SMART may not successfully cover the entire scar.
These are only a few of the many ways we respect your health and wellbeing by practicing minimally-invasive dentistry. We’ll be happy to tell you more at your next appointment or when you call our office!