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Micro Dentistry

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 19 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Micro Dentistry

Micro dentistry is the latest dental technique to enable the removal of tooth decay without the need for drilling, and in some cases without the need for an anaesthetic. Micro dentistry techniques are used to detect and restore tiny cavities in difficult to find areas. This advanced dental procedure uses air abrasion to remove decay and is suitable for adults and children.

The Need for Micro Dentistry

The use of fluoride has made a significant difference to the way cavities occur. Cavities used to be easier to spot, but now with harder tooth enamel cavities are no longer just focussed on the grooves of the teeth. Cavities on the grooves of the teeth are simple to spot using x-rays and exploration methods. Smaller cavities are harder to detect, and this is where the micro dentistry procedure is required. By detecting the smaller cavities before they grow and penetrate the inner layers, dentists can prevent the need for root canal treatment.

The Micro Dentistry Instruments

During micro dentistry an air abrasion system will take the place of the traditional drill. Air abrasion blasts a jet of aluminium oxide particles at the decayed tooth to eliminate the decay. The system minimises the loss of tooth material and is extremely safe and quiet.

With the air abrasion system around 90% of patients will not need an anaesthetic, making it particularly suitable for nervous patients and children. The system also eliminates the noisy drilling process that tends to make some patients very nervous.

The Micro Dentistry Procedure

The first step in the process will be to identify the cavities and areas of decay. This will be achieved by staining the teeth with coloured dyes that will identify the cavities. Once the dentist has identified the cavities, the teeth will be isolated using cotton rolls or rubber dams.

The next step will be the use of air abrasion to eliminate decay. This procedure will be performed with the use of magnification tools and fibre-optic lights. Once the decay has been removed, a further dye process may be used to detect any small areas of decay that have been missed.

The Filling

An acid solution will be placed on the treated tooth that will etch the surface and make bonding easier. The dentist will then use materials to fill the tooth, just as he or she would with a traditional filling. Lights will be used to harden the filling, and the dentist will then polish the tooth. The final step will be to seal the treated tooth.

The Benefits of Micro Dentistry

Micro dentistry is an excellent alternative to traditional cavity treatments that use drills and anaesthetic. The process is ideal for the detection and removal of microscopic particles of decay. Due to the lack of anaesthetics and the reduced noise levels, micro dentistry is recommended for children and patients who suffer from dental anxiety.

Micro dentistry is also a very rapid process; most treatments should only last around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to be treated. Due to the minimal amount of decay that is removed, the damage to the tooth structure should also be minimal. With tooth decay, the earlier the detection of decay the more chance you have of preventing damage to the teeth, making micro dentistry an excellent preventative procedure.

The micro dentistry process may not be suitable for larger areas of decay, and your dentist will need to ascertain your suitability for this type of treatment. However, when it is suitable it is an excellent alternative to the traditional methods used in dealing with tooth decay.

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