Maybe you’ve heard the term “minimally invasive dentistry.” It certainly sounds great, but what does it mean exactly – especially for a biological dentist?
Let’s start with the matter of diagnosis: When is it appropriate to place a filling in a tooth?
Many dentists – Dr. Glaros included – feel very comfortable with using infared rebound systems like Diagnodent or devices such as Spectrum for measuring bacteria in addition the clinical exam and x-rays. (Those x-rays, by the way, will be digital, which reduces radiation exposure by 90% from conventional x-rays.) Other considerations include things like the patient’s decay history, age, nutritional practices and dental visit frequency in determining the best course of action when decay is found.
Now, other considerations come into play. Could air abrasion be treatment enough? Does the dental drill even need to touch the tooth? If it does, will it be at a minimally invasive rate (20,000 rpm)? Will air abrasion be used after drilling but before filling? Will the tooth be bathed in ozone before the etching agent is placed?
What about dental materials? A biological dentist believes you must consider which restoration materials are appropriate for each patient. Is a full crown ever called for, since it means removing all enamel from a tooth? Some would say only when replacing a full crown; otherwise, an inlay, onlay or partial crown makes more sense.
For although a tooth may look densely solid and lifeless, it is, in fact, a living organ. Its hard outer layer of enamel protects the delicate tissues, blood vessels and nerves within. Between this pulp and enamel lies the dentin, which consists of about three miles of microscopic tubules – in each tooth! (This is why root canal therapy can never completely disinfect a tooth: It is physically impossible to thoroughly and permanently disinfect the tubules.)
A look into just the enamel itself can give you a new appreciation of the intricacy of a tooth’s design:
In our office, we do all we can to respect the natural integrity of each tooth in each patient we see. This naturally conservative approach to dental treatment is minimally-invasive dentistry, and Dr. Glaros is proud to be among the select dentists in this country who practice it.
These two recent interviews by Dr. Mercola will help you learn more: