The title for this post doesn’t exactly seem appropriate, even though it is along the same lines as the previous couple. Oh, well. We’ve listed some detriments of invasive dentistry; today I’ll give a brief explanation about the benefits of minimally invasive holistic dentistry — precisely what we strive for in this office.

If dental work needs to be done, minimally invasive procedures are what will be best for the patient’s dental health in the long run. When all measures are taken to preserve the natural tooth, the need for dental work in the future is greatly reduced. This is pretty valuable; you don’t want to be the patient who seems to be in the dentist’s chair all the time, but sees that either nothing improves or new problems keep coming up. Good dentistry (and diligent daily care on your part) means you don’t have to keep going back!

Minimally invasive dentistry also allows the least amount of dental work to be performed. The high quality of work and genuine care for each patient’s best treatment saves the quantity of materials needed, saves time in the chair, saves money in the short and long run, and brings more comfort to the patients who want to know that the best is being done for them.

To explain minimally invasive dentistry, I’ll use the cavity filling again as an example. Also being a holistic practice, it is important to us that we evaluate the patient’s overall physical health and immune strength. Extra care must be exercised with patients whose ability to fight infection is compromised (we may offer advice and refer the patient to sources for improving nutrition and rebuilding immunity).

Once the green light is given, tooth restoration begins. As opposed to the filling itself, how the tooth is prepared for the filling is in the spotlight this time. The tooth is “sick” and infected. It must be remineralized to restore the nutrients that keep it healthy. With our combination of ozone and dental lasers, the infected tissue is easily and quickly removed, and the tooth is completely sterilized. Sealant is then applied to preserve the healthy tissue and protect the tooth from further decay. Bacteria and acid can easily continue rotting the tooth over time if it is not sealed well.

Then, finally, the restoration is installed, which may range from a small, laser-cured filling, or an inlay/onlay formed by our CEREC unit. The type of restoration depends on the amount of lost tooth. All of our materials are metal-free and aesthetic, meaning we will ensure that the restoration looks and functions as naturally as possible. Unsightly metal? No, thanks! Sometimes, if decay has gone beyond a certain point, a crown is needed. Crowns traditionally require quite a bit of unnecessary sanding down of the tooth, but minimally invasive dentistry sees crowns as a last resort if the natural tooth is not restorable with partial reconstruction. And even then, using our CEREC unit will ensure that no natural tissue is removed unnecessarily. The results will be both strong and functional, ensuring secure dentistry for years to come.

If needed, bite splints may be fitted and supplied to the patient to eliminate the effects of bruxing (teeth grinding). Bruxing can quickly damage both healthy tooth structure and dental repairs, so it is important to protect against it.

Ta-da! Now, with proper hygiene, nutrition, and mindful monitoring by his dentist at regular cleanings/checkups, a patient shouldn’t expect to need another restoration for a good, long while, if ever.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

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