You may not have heard this term yet, but this is where dentistry is going and many dentists practice it every day. The common dental procedures and theories of the past are now obsolete, such as the practice of filling every tooth that has a little stain,or extending cavity preparations to make sure they have enough bulk to be retained…now everything is done to conserve healthy tooth structure, because we can’t ever get it back. This has been termed “microdentistry” and it is something we definitely practice at Katy Trail Dental. We have learned over time that it is not enough to just “drill and fill.” This actually is a huge disservice to the patient, because they never understand where their cavities came from or how to prevent future cavities from happening. Instead, at KTD we try to target the etiology, whether it is a home habit, foods or beverages of choice, or lack of professional care, and once we have uncovered the etiology, we work to rectify it and at the same time remove only the amount of the tooth structure that actually has to be removed.
Some popular minimally invasive ways of addressing pathology or dental disease while it’s minor are: 1. remineralization or the use of fluoride to re-harden and strengthen an area that is suspected of a cavity; 2. placing sealants over teeth susceptible to cavities or with stain that appears as if it could grow into a cavity; 3. inlays and onlays or tooth-colored materials can be placed where large fillings were but which are not as large as a crown; and 4. bite splints or night guards can be prescribed and fabricated to prevent damage from clenching and grinding or habits associated with stress, and preserve enamel longer. Combined with excellent home hygiene, these minimally invasive forms of treatment and approaches to dental treatment can help preserve your teeth for a lifetime.