It is no secret that many people dread going to the dentist. It takes courage and trust to allow someone to scrape and poke inside your mouth. And what if they find that you need a filling, or worse, a root canal? Many of today’s dentists are advocates of minimally invasive dentistry. That’s not to say they don’t fill teeth or give root canals, but their goal is to conserve as much of the healthy tissue and tooth structure as possible. If you need dental work done, your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest, will be happy to discuss minimally invasive techniques and procedures.
What Is the Genesis of being Minimally Invasive
Dental research has proven that retaining original dentition and healthy tissue is more biologically valuable to the patient than replacing it with synthetic materials. From this discovery, minimally invasive dentistry was born. Advances in dental technology have made minimally invasive dentistry an attainable goal. Today’s dentists work to conserve as much of the healthy tooth structure and oral tissue as possible with each procedure.
The first step is to maintain proper oral health to prevent decay and other dental diseases. In order to do this, Dr. Fondriest will educate you on proper oral care, and offer instruction specific to your unique case. Several factors contribute to your oral health, including the amount of bacteria present in the oral cavity, diet, and genetics. If, for instance, your oral bacterial levels are high, Dr. Fondriest may suggest you use an anti-bacterial mouth rinse, and limit carbohydrates that increase harmful bacteria in the oral cavity. Some preventative techniques besides brushing and flossing include:
- Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride makes developing teeth stronger and more resistant to bacterial attacks. For developed teeth, the minerals in fluoride react with your saliva to remineralize the enamel, which protects our teeth, and reverse early signs of decay.
- Sealants: Sealants are a plastic resin, painted on the tooth. It covers the grooves and fissures, providing a barrier between the healthy tooth and harmful bacteria and plaque.
If a problem does develop, intercepting its progress by replacing as little of the natural tissue or dentition as possible, is the next step. At this point, minimally invasive techniques include:
- Remineralization: Bacteria and sugar demineralize our teeth causing tooth decay. Remineralization can reverse early decay in some instances. Fluoride is often used as a remineralizing agent. Other methods include, but are not limited to, tricalcium phosphate (TCP) and xylitol.
- Air Abrasion: Air abrasion may be used if the tooth is beyond remineralization. This technique uses an extremely fine abrasive powder blown with a stream of air to remove decay. It is used in place of a traditional drill.
- Veneers, Inlays And Onlays: Inlays and onlays are used in place of crowns, because they require minimal removal of tooth structure. An impression of the tooth is taken for a custom fit, and the inlay or onlay is glued to the tooth. Although minimally invasive porcelain veneers are more difficult to do well, Dr. Fondriest is one of the only prosthodontists to have high level training in this procedure.
- Mouth Guards: Mouth guards are another means of prevention specifically for people who grind or clench (brux) at night. Bruxing can cause cracks, fractures, stress breaks, or other damage to the teeth and jaw. A dental impression is made and a customized bite guard is fabricated to fit the individual. This reduces stress on teeth and helps prevent damage.
Benefits To The Patient of being Minimally Invasive or Drilling Less
Minimally invasive dentistry can help take the fear out of visiting your dentist. Benefits include:
- Better oral health
- Better overall health
- Fewer cavities and root canals
- Preservation of the natural state of dentition
- Less drilling
- Less pain
About Your Lake Forest Dentist:
If you have a fear of invasive dental procedures, discuss minimally invasive dentistry with your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. Fondriest. He can answer your questions and help set your fears to rest. Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.