What does "Minimally Invasive Dentistry" mean?
Minimally invasive dentistry means preserving as much healthy tooth tissue as practically possible when carrying out dental treatments
Why do we want to preserve tooth tissue?
Whilst it may have been popular in the past to have a smile makeover involving a full mouth of veneers or crowns, often this required excessive preparation to healthy tooth tissue. The problem with treating all patients in this way is that it may not necessarily the right treatment. If your teeth are very crowded, it is almost always better to straighten the teeth first, moving the teeth into a more ideal position. Often this is all that is needed to give you your perfect smile. Sometimes we may still need to carry out cosmetic treatment after the teeth are straightened to give the final finishing touches.
If we were to just place veneers or crown on teeth that are overcrowded, the end result is compromised. This means that teeth that aren’t in the correct position need to be cosmetically masked to make them appear straight, which either means over preparing (filing) the teeth or making veneers that are thick and bulky.
If we over-prepare teeth, this can result is irreversible damage to your tooth health. Once a tooth enters the restorative cycle, it will always need maintenance and replacements. No dental treatment ever lasts forever. The more treatment we carry out to a tooth, the more risk there is of it becoming irreversibly damaged. If this happens, you may need to have root canal treatment or other invasive treatments.
What is Align, Bleach and Bond?
In this example, we have straightened the teeth with Invisalign removable clear aligners, whitened the teeth and then carried out composite bonding to repair worn chipped tooth edges to give our patient a beautiful smile
Many smiles can be improved with a combination of straightening, whitening and bonding treatments which aim to preserve your own healthy tooth tissue. Due to advances in dental materials and techniques, these minimally invasive smile makeovers are becoming more and more popular.
Teeth can be straightened discreetly with removable Invisalign braces, or clear ceramic braces. Once they are straightened, they are lightened with professional teeth whitening. If there are any chips or uneven teeth they can finally be repaired or built up with composite bonding. This technique is commonly known as “Align, Bleach, and Bond”.
Although this technique requires more time and patience to get to the end result, you will preserve more healthy tooth tissue. This means that there is less risk of damage to the tooth long term. If teeth were to be heavily prepared for veneers then there is a chance that the tooth can become irreversibly damaged. Any dental treatment requires maintenance and care, but by preserving much of your own healthy tooth tissue, this usually means less need for costly remakes. Costly in terms of financial cost as well biological cost (to your teeth).
Some teeth may still require veneers after they have been straightened, for example teeth that are heavily discoloured or restored, or teeth that are irregularly shaped. However by pre-straightening the teeth and moving the teeth into the correct positions, less preparation is usually required.
If you would like to see if you would be suitable for this type of treatment, call us on 0161 327 2878 or book online to book an initial consultation.