Minimal Intervention Dentistry
We emphasis on prevention and early intervention to identify dental disease before it develops. If early decay is detected early, we can use non-surgical means to control and arrest disease. This is today’s dental technology, and what is currently taught at Australian universities, and part of the ADA’s current policies (link). Minimal intervention dentistry basic premise is that it is essential to begin treatment of the patient with elimination of the disease prior to considering repair of the damage caused by the disease. We know that risk of dental decay is greatly influenced by diet, medications, saliva and fluoride. We also know that if detected early, decay can be cured through proper management. At Cornerstone Dental, your dentist will discuss with you what measures should be taken to better protect your smile.
Minimum Intervention Dentistry tries to prevent and detect disease at its earliest stage, in order to avoid invasive treatment. Despite our best intentions, operative dentistry will always form a large our work. Restorations get old and break, cusps fracture, pulps die and patients somehow fail to be motivated by our pleas for exquisite oral hygiene! Where treatment is needed we then must find the least invasive option, that best promotes the health of the tooth. This is minimal invasive dentistry. Click to read an academic review on minimum intervention dentistry (Geoff Knight paper here)
“Minimally Invasive Dentistry ( = Micro Dentistry) Is concerned with the least invasive treatment options possible, in order to minimize tissue loss and level of patient discomfort, thus ‘Minimal Invasive Dentistry’ forms part of ‘Minimal Intervention Dentistry’.”
Make sure your dentist is not trapped in the 1970s drill-n-fill mantra, as minimal intervention is best practice for your teeth. In the past, dentists believed that ‘extension was for prevention’ and made large fillings on even the smallest early decay spots. They believed that because a filling could not get decay, the bigger the better, and would make the tooth stronger. We know know that the strongest thing in the body is an intact tooth. As soon as it is drilled into, and despite being filled, it is never as strong as a solid object. It is like comparing a solid mass of stone with a similar mass being made of bricks. Microscopically, there will be roughness at the joins, so more areas for bacteria to stick to and grow. And bacteria do commonly grow at these joins, and invade underneath existing fillings. And a tooth can often crack around the outside of a filling, because it now flexes a lot more than it did when solid.
In interestingly enough, minimal intervention dentistry is part of the ADA’s current policies.
3.1 Dentists should incorporate MID into their clinical practices.
3.2 The public must be educated to the benefits of MID.
3.3 Funding agencies including governments must adequately fund MID.
Minimally invasive dentistry… is that like natural therapies, a bit alternative?
Minimally invasive dentistry is based on the latest advances in dental science.
During the past few years, scientific developments in the decay process, dental materials and diagnostic systems have changed dentistry’s approach to diagnosis and management of dental caries.
It is now recognised that demineralised but noncavitated enamel and dentine can be ‘healed’. The surgical approach to the treatment of a decay along with the ‘extension for prevention’ mantra is no longer tenable.
Preservation of a healthy set of natural teeth for each and every patient is the focus of our work. In any health field, doctors aim for the conservation of the human body and its function, and dentistry is no different.