Carlsbad Pediatric Dentist

Minimally Invasive DentistryCarlsbad, CA

Minimally-invasive dentistry refers to treatments and procedures that aim to preserve original tissue and save healthy tooth structure. Children’s teeth, gums, and jaw are still developing, making preservation and prevention key elements when treating them for nearly all types of procedures. Trauma from invasive treatments can largely affect their growth and development, but minimally-invasive and non-invasive treatments help their oral cavity remain as healthy as possible.

At CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles, we offer minimally invasive treatments for patients experiencing minor dental problems. Our team can provide these treatments for concerns that do not require surgery. To learn more about a procedure or schedule an appointment, call 760-730-3456 today.

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    What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?

    Minimally invasive dentistry (MID) refers to “an evidence-based approach that aims to arrest caries and preserve as much tooth structure as possible when managing early and moderate caries lesions.” According to the National Library of Medicine, the common delineator is tissue preservation, preferably by preventing disease from occurring and intercepting its progress, but also removing and replacing with as little tissue loss as possible. The approach breaks down treatment into three parts: detection, risk assessment, and treatment plan.

    During the detection phase, the dentist is looking for early signs of caries lesions or slightly discolored grooves beneath the surface layer of a tooth. Then, we will conduct a comprehensive caries risk assessment to determine the amount of tooth decay and its likelihood of spreading. Lastly, the dentist makes a clinical decision and curates a customized treatment plan involving minimally-invasive dentistry.

    Types of Minimally-Invasive Procedures

    There are non-invasive and minimally invasive dental treatments designed for children. Non-invasive treatments (NT) include regular monitoring of tooth decay visually,r reviewing dental radiographs, applying fluoride or dental sealants to the teeth, and regular monitoring of their status, and diet and oral hygiene counseling. Minimally-invasive treatments (MT) are procedures that can be done for both primary and permanent teeth. They involve air abrasion, remineralization, bite splints, and inlays and onlays.

    Air abrasion refers to the use of abrasive particles, such as compressed air, nitrogen gas, or bottled carbon dioxide, to remove tooth decay without drilling. Remineralization restores minerals lost by demineralization or deterioration of tooth structure through fluoride treatment. Bite splints are applied for patients with Bruxism or are otherwise susceptible to clenching and grinding their teeth. Inlays and onlays are used in patients with minor to moderate tooth decay and help to restore teeth after removal of dental caries.

    Advantages of Minimally-Invasive Procedures

    The benefits of minimally invasive dentistry are far and wide. Not only do these procedures treat common dental conditions, but they focus on reducing or preventing the risks of these issues. According to an article in the Journal of Dentistry and Oral Care, minimally-invasive dentistry has advantages that include, but are not limited to:

  • Early caries detection and risk assessment
  • Remineralisation of demineralised enamel and dentin
  • Optimal caries preventive measures
  • Minimally invasive operative interventions
  • Repair rather than replacement of restorations
  • For patients, this means preserving and strengthening tooth structure, avoiding tooth extractions, avoiding pain and discomfort associated with dental treatment, and spending less time in the dentist’s office.

    Candidates for Minimally-Invasive Treatments

    Minimally-invasive dental treatments are especially great for young patients, special needs and medically-compromised patients, and those with dental anxiety. They are often performed on patients with minor to moderate tooth decay. Severe conditions that exhibit extensive decay may not be treatable through minimally-invasive dentistry as removal will likely compromise the tooth. However, the expansion of MID and the various tools and equipment used have allowed for more advanced cases to be treated.

    Good candidates for MID treatments have healthy tooth, gum, and bone structure that can withstand interference without breaking down. In young children, laser technology allows dentists to remove decay without the use of a drill or anesthesia. However, decay that goes beneath the surface or to the roots of teeth cannot be removed by a laser and may need more invasive treatment to preserve as much remaining tooth structure as possible. We do our best to include as many MT as possible in our treatment plans and will discuss candidacy during the initial consultation.

    Schedule a Visit Today

    Minimally-invasive treatments are available at our office. The CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles team looks forward to treating your child in the most comfortable, least intensive way possible. Call our office at 760-730-3456 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Minimally Invasive Dentistry

    What are some examples of minimally-invasive dentistry?

    For cavities, minimally invasive treatments include silver diamine fluoride (SDF), dental sealants, and air abrasion. Dental implants are often done instead of dental bridges, reducing the intensity of treatment. Crowns may also be used as an alternative to dental veneers.

    What are the benefits of minimally-invasive treatments for kids?

    The greatest benefits of minimally-invasive treatments include more comfort, shorter recovery times, and preservation of tooth structure. It is also beneficial for the prevention of more damaging dental problems from developing.

    When are dental treatments considered invasive?

    Invasive dental treatments involve manipulation of the gums, or gingival tissue, and the perforation of the oral mucosa. They are considered invasive as a dentist cuts through soft and hard tissues to treat a certain condition. These procedures include extractions, gum surgery, and dental implants.

    Do minimally-invasive treatments weaken teeth?

    Dentists perform minimally-invasive treatments in order to try and preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. Through these treatments, dentists may remove a small amount of the tooth or tissue in order to remove decay. As such, certain treatments and severe conditions may weaken the teeth but are much less than invasive procedures.

    Can a patient reverse tooth damage?

    Patients should try to exercise all oral hygiene practices that prevent tooth decay and, eventually, tooth damage. Once treatment is initiated, reversal is often unlikely. However, some procedures, such as SDF treatment, can reverse tooth decay and make the teeth even healthier.

    How safe is minimally-invasive dentistry?

    There are a large amount of dental tools and equipment available for minimally invasive procedures to make them as safe as possible. Advancements in dental technology allow for more tools to become available every few years. Most minimally invasive procedures are much safer than invasive procedures.

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    Contact Us

    CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles is located at 1285 Carlsbad Village Drive Carlsbad, CA 92008.

    (760) 730-3456