Minimally Invasive Restorative Dentistry: A Biomimetic Approach
A Case Presentation
Mark I. Malterud, DDS
This study discusses the minimally invasive procedures for treating and restoring damaged teeth due to cavitated carious lesions. Upon reviewing this study, the reader should:
- Become familiar with a variety of treatment options that are available and their varying levels of invasiveness.
- Understand the importance of conserving as much natural tooth structure as possible and how this can benefit subsequent treatments.
It is widely accepted that prevention is the most conservative, least costly method of maintaining a patient’s teeth over the long term. Prevention has been the cornerstone of modern dentistry, but even with the encouragement and education provided by a trained staff, clinicians will encounter some patients who present with compliance issues. Many times, compliance with home care—especially during orthodontic treatment—is neglected, requiring invasive restorative procedures.
The severity of the resulting damage can often be seen in the form of extrinsic stains (ie, white spot surface lesions) as well as cavitated carious lesions. These lesions, which are caused by the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, can be addressed through treatments of varying invasiveness. Depending on the severity of the lesion and its etiology, therapy may consist of prophylaxis, air abrasion, tooth whitening, resin bonding, prosthetic restoration, or some combination thereof.
Minimally invasive treatments are procedures that restore form, function, and aesthetics with minimal removal of sound tooth structure. As a person ages, so do their restorations. Eventually, previously restored teeth will deteriorate and require replacement restorations. Fortunately, restorative materials and procedures are constantly evolving. If an initial restoration is created using minimally invasive procedures, sound tooth structure will often be available for a subsequent restoration.
Preventive dental maintenance is the most cost-effective means of preserving dentition. Neglect can lead to a variety of problems, ranging from white spot surface lesions to fully engulfed carious lesions. Minimally invasive treatment should follow only dedicated preventive maintenance. The patient in this case underwent a minimally invasive procedure that preserved sound tooth structure. This preservation lends itself to better future treatment options as dental technology advances.
*Private practice, St. Paul, MN
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