Minimally invasive dentistry represents a new era of dentistry that focuses more on prevention and interception of carious disease than on surgical or mechanical treatment. Today’s adults are children who have grown up with fear of the dentist, the noise of the instruments used to treat caries, the prolonged sitting in the dental chair for dental treatments, and last but not least, the pain.
How do we define minimally invasive dentistry?
Minimally invasive dentistry is the new era of dentistry, a bridge connecting prevention through to surgical treatment. This field has evolved so much that today we can speak of a preventive treatment of minimally invasive incipient carious lesions with state-of-the-art biocompatible materials. Only lesions detected in the early stages can be easily treated by minimally invasive dentistry, those detected in the medium or acute stages will need invasive treatment, often of long duration.
Prevention, the most effective treatment
Prevention is very important, and check-ups from an early age are necessary to avoid reaching the point where the child needs invasive dental treatments. If parents get involved in the process and give their children the right education when it comes to oral hygiene, they will only benefit. Here are the benefits of prevention:
- Cheaper and more effective than any dental intervention,
- The cost of treating oral problems is lower if you intervene early,
- Treatment time decreases, but so does the time the child spends in the office chair,
- Control can be done much better in case of early lesions.
In the early stages, the techniques used are much simpler and quicker – we are talking in particular about techniques of brushing certain substances and covering with filling materials. No instruments are used, there are no sounds to make children feel anxious, and the time the little patient spends in the chair is extremely short. Such techniques are ideal for children who have a fear of the dentist or anxiety, for children with special needs or very young children who would not be patient to sit in the chair for only a few minutes.
Techniques used in minimally invasive dentistry
In minimally invasive dentistry we are talking about both state-of-the-art remineralization materials, filling cavities with regenerative effects, and minimally invasive mechanical techniques such as tooth intervention with as much tooth tissue preservation as possible. Of great help are biocompatible materials that allow us to stop evolving carious lesions and remineralize demineralization stains. For example, fluoride-based remineralization varnishes are used to help us treat white chalky stains – these varnishes are very easy to administer by brushing and have an infiltrating stain isolating effect. The result is visible – the tooth is remineralized and the stain shrinks or disappears completely.
Another minimally invasive technique that can be used even in very young children is aesthetic restoration (especially in the frontal area) with pedodontics- caps incorporating fluoride-releasing materials. Also in the category of aesthetic restorations are composite materials or zirconium crowns, which are growing in popularity as aesthetic demands increase.
It should be remembered that it is not only functionality that is important, but also aesthetics, and integration into society is based on aesthetic criteria from a very young age. The appearance of the smile matters from kindergarten and has a psycho-emotional impact even on children. Minimally invasive dentistry helps to maintain this smile for as long as possible with these quick and painless techniques. Children will thus have a healthy smile and will not grow up with fear and anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist.