Minimal Intervention Dentistry – what is it and how is it good?

Holistic medicine is a growing industry. If you take a look around you, you can see how humans are evolving for the better. Rather than waiting until health problems arise, much of the focus now in medicine and science is prevention and being as minimally invasive as possible. Why should dentistry be any different? Rather than waiting for complex dental problems to develop, it makes sense to prevent or tackle them early and by being as careful and preserving natural structures as much as possible. Need a caring family dentist? Give my team at Riverstone Family Dental a call on 8678 3538.

Why the tooth near your amalgam filling broke

Amalgam fillings require mechanical retention. This involves undermining the ridges and weakening the cusps of your teeth. Moreover, amalgam material tends to expand over time – placing pressure on the tooth structure. What we’re seeing now, is more and more people are breaking the tooth structure directly next to amalgam fillings. This then means not much of the tooth is left and crowns are the most ideal way to protect these teeth in the long run. You may even be in for root canal treatment as well.

Minimal intervention

Minimal intervention is based on an increasing body of evidence that the traditional ways we managed people’s teeth involved excessive removal of tooth structure. For example, amalgam fillings were the go to treatment for fixing cavities. However, this involved too much removal of tooth. This is because it relies on mechanical retention to stay in the teeth.  Now, composite resin is used instead. Using this material means your tooth structure is preserved and only what needs to be removed is drilled out. As time goes on, more advanced bonding technologies are becoming available, making this material not just a better choice for the environment, but also for our teeth.

What needs to stay and what needs to go

Traditionally, when fixing a tooth with a filling, all dark bits of tooth were drilled away. However, it is now accepted that what needs to be removed is the soft part of the tooth. This is the infected tooth structure which needs to be cleaned out in order to preserve the health of the nerve and to allow for bonding of a filling. New products can also be used in deep fillings to release fluoride and remineralise tooth structure when it is close to the nerve. This means you may avoid needing root canal treatment and a crown.

Going back a step

Diet is the number one factor in tooth decay. Control the amount of sugar in your diet and you will avoid a lot of dental problems. Another scientifically-backed preventative measure is placing fissure sealants in kids’ teeth. This prevents the chance for decay to affect the pits and fissures of their back teeth. Fissure sealants are effective in kids who are at moderate to high risk of dental decay. If you would like to know if your child would benefit from fissure sealants give my team a call at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.

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