Minimally invasive dentistry - or minimally hazardous dentistry - focuses on prevention, strengthening and, as the name suggests, minimal dentist intervention. With the latest scientific advances, modern tools and techniques, we perform the minimal amount of treatment required in order to avoid removing more of the tooth structure than is necessary to restore it to its normal condition.
In clinical practice, as soon as dentists cut into a tooth they have sentenced that tooth to a lifetime of being repaired, replaced and treated with progressively aggressive and costly techniques. At HBDS, we use use minimally invasive techniques for early problem detection, decay removal, and repair. We strive to minimise the loss of tooth structure during the restorative process, and we use long-lasting dental materials that conserve the maximum tooth structure so the need for future repairs is reduced as well.
White or tooth-coloured fillings are dental fillings that restore and mimic the natural appearance of a tooth. The strength of the adhesion between the material and the tooth allows your HBDS dentist to limit the removal of tooth structure compared to traditional fillings. This makes conservative white fillings the most important aspect of minimal intervention and a safer and healthier alternative to traditional silver fillings.
In addition to rebuilding teeth that have fractured or decayed, tooth-colored fillings can also be used to replace old amalgam silver fillings. The process involves the skillful use of dental composite, a mouldable tooth-coloured material with a paste-like consistency made from glass resins and fillers.
Find out more: Conservative white fillings
Dentists usually use crowns to restore a tooth, but porcelain inlays and overlays have one big advantage - they do not require the removal of as much of the tooth structure. Inlays are similar to fillings, except they are custom-made from porcelain and fit the cavity in your tooth. This means they are stronger and longer lasting, as well as able to preserve tooth structure. Overlays are used for more substantial reconstruction, but again they have the benefit of causing less damage to your tooth structure than crowns.
Find out more: Inlays and overlays
At HBDS, we use the latest and most technologically advanced equipment. To make minimally invasive dentistry easier, Sirona’s new CEREC Bluecam unit gives us the ability to design and build your conservative bonded inlay or overlay restoration in one dental visit.
Using the same principles as conventional inlays and overlays, this state-of-the-art tool kit uses 3D photography and CAD-CAM technology to create the ideal conservative restoration. This means you don't have to wait – we can create your conservative, biocompatible porcelain restoration while you are still sitting in our chairs.
Find out more: Digital CAD-CAM
Bonding, or direct bonding, usually refers to restorations done on the front teeth. It is mostly used as an inexpensive and effective fix for small chips or cracks in the teeth, and for closing small gaps. With the advancement of both materials and techniques, direct bonding has become the treatment of choice for early erosion and minimally invasive dentistry. This technique means we can often restore your teeth to their original shape and function without cutting them. Your HBDS dentist will let you know if you are a candidate for dental bonding.
Find out more: Direct bonding
Magnification is a magical innovation that has allowed us to improve our dentistry by being able to see on a much bigger and better scale. At HBDS, we all use magnification in the form of Loupes, and now we can detect lesions sooner, get a clearer picture of a problem, and perform our dentistry with even more skill.
The use of orthodontics should be the mainstay of every general practitioner, but not every ortho case needs full ortho treatment. When we come across a situation where the use of minor orthodontics will result in a decrease in the amount of restorative treatment, this becomes our first choice.
At HBDS, we offer minor orthodontics to achieve ideal treatment outcomes. Before we begin the treatment process in an aesthetic case, we use reduction stents and diagnostic mockups to determine the end result. Digital Smile Design tools help us analyse the case and calculate the best way to minimise the loss of tooth structure.
In a case where complex movement of teeth is required, we have a strong network of like-minded orthodontists who we can refer you to.
Many people grind their teeth at night and this can cause serious and expensive damage leading to the need for crowns. Grinding, or bruxism, often begins in your teenage years or early 20s and, if we detect it in time, we can correct it before more serious treatment is required. At HBDS, we create comfortable bite splints for you to wear at night or during stressful times when most teeth-grinding occurs.
Remineralisation is the process of restoring the minerals in the teeth and thereby repairing associated damage such as erosion and early decay. Fluoride plays a very important role in this process.
When a decayed tooth cannot be remineralized, your HBDS dentist may use air abrasion. This technique is used in place of a traditional drill and may not require anaesthesia . It resembles microscopic sand blasting and uses a stream of air combined with a super-fine abrasive powder.
Dental sealants protect teeth from bacteria that cause decay. Sealants, which are usually made of plastic resin, fit into the grooves and depressions of the tooth and act as a barrier, protecting against acid and plaque.
Find out more: Tooth sealants