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Words to Share With Patients

19/02/2013

 

Philip Lewis, avenue road Dental Practice, Isle of Wight
 
 
 
Minimally invasive dentistry is the sort of dentistry that dentists want.  It’s the sort of dentistry they want their families to have.  It’s dentistry that cuts down on the need for dental treatment.
 
Of course, it’s based on prevention.  Preventing dental disease is still a lot better than curing it; but it’s much more than that!
 
Minimally invasive dentistry begins with a thorough examination.  Thorough.  An examination of your whole mouth, not just your teeth.  After this we’ll know what’s good and what’s not so good.  What next?
 
We want to maintain what’s already good.  We want to show you how to keep it like that.
 
What about the stuff that’s not so good?
 
Tooth decay? Missing teeth? Crooked teeth? An ugly smile?
 
We can help with all these things but we don’t want to help by making things worse!
 
Here are just a few examples:
 
Let’s take tooth decay.  Do we have to drill it all away?  The hard truth is; often we do.  Not always.  If the decay is early the minimally invasive dentist can use sophisticated treatments to stop it in its tracks; avoiding the need for injections and drilling.  What if it’s more advanced?  Then decay has to be removed.  How are we going to fill the hole?  We could use metal fillings.  To provide these we need to remove significant amounts of healthy tooth to keep them from falling out.  Metal fillings can conduct temperature very well to the nerve, causing sensitivity at best and nerve damage at worse.  They can expand as they set, causing teeth to crack; leading to complex dentistry or even extraction. They don’t bond to the tooth and they look unattractive. Do you think many dentists choose this type of filling for themselves or their own families?
 
How about crooked teeth?  Veneers?  Everybody’s heard about them but do you know how they’re made? In most cases lots of healthy enamel has to be stripped from the tooth to produce this ‘cosmetic’ result.  To make the teeth look straighter some of them have to get thinner; others get so thick that it is almost impossible to bite naturally on them.  
 
How about if those crooked teeth were really straightened first! In weeks, not years?  They may still need veneers to make them look perfect but now they’d be minimally invasive veneers requiring little or no tooth preparation beforehand.
 
Nearly all of us need dental treatment from time to time.  Very few of us want it!  If that’s true, how often do we want it repeated?  How happy are we to undergo frequent replacements?  It’s an unfortunate fact that all dentistry leads to more dentistry eventually because nothing lasts forever. Keeping procedures minimal or avoiding the need for procedures in the first place can significantly reduce the frequency and magnitude of replacement.
 
Think about minimally invasive dentistry.  It doesn’t necessarily cost you any more than the dentistry you’re used to and it can save you a great deal of time, money and discomfort in the future as well as helping you keep your own teeth for life!
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