Our Philosophy — Minimally Invasive Dentistry

cu female teeth eyewire 300x249 Our Philosophy    Minimally Invasive Dentistry

We are proponents of minimally invasive dentistry, which is the principle of preserving as much natural tooth structure as possible when restoring worn or damaged dentition. Early detection with X-rays and advanced technology like Diagnodent, allow us to identify signs of tooth decay in its early stages.

Minimally invasive dentistry also applies to teeth that have larger cavities and/or defective restorations in need of replacement. In the past, crowns (caps) were placed on these teeth, which usually required the removal of significant amounts of healthy tooth structure. Today, inlays and onlays are used to restore these teeth requiring far less removal of healthy tooth structure. Removing more tooth structure than needed increases both the risks of tooth fracture and the need for root canal treatment after the crown is completed. The root canal risk for a tooth that has a traditional crown placed on it is approximately 17%. In other words, if you have seven crowns chances are good that at least one of them has had a hole drilled through it for a root canal. With the more conservative inlays and onlays we are placing today, the risk of a root canal being needed drops to less than 3%.

The concept of minimally invasive treatment applies to dental implants in a big way. When a person is missing a tooth, having an implant placed will eliminate the need to grind down perfectly healthy teeth in order to support a bridge. Teeth which have been ground down to support a bridge have the potential to need root canal therapy.

When we anesthetize a tooth, we only block the mechanism by which the tooth talks to the brain. The nerve of the tooth still feels the procedure, and reacts by swelling up. Since the nerve is trapped inside a fixed space, it has no way of expanding which can put pressure on the collapsible structures, which are the blood vessels. If the internal pressure is of sufficient strength and duration, it is possible for a tooth to die from lack blood supply. For this reason, we recommend you take 4 Ibuprofen one hour before every appointment to minimize the risk of post treatment complications and sensitivity.

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