Conservative dentistry is a type of dentistry that seeks to save as much or all the original teeth in your mouth. If possible, you always want to keep the original structure.
Conservative dentistry begins with YOU being in charge of your dental health. This means regular visits to the dentist to prevent and catch problems. Three to six-month appointments allow dentists to examine your teeth and gums regularly.
If a dentist can diagnose a dental problem while it’s still small, then the dentist can do the least amount of dentistry to solve the problem, recover the functions of the tooth and keep as much of the natural tooth structure as possible.
Let’s start with an example that is common in most people: A large old amalgam/silver filling. So let’s say you have a large old filling from 10-30 years ago. Because silver fillings have a mechanical retention to the tooth and don’t bond chemically, they can often cause fracture lines in your tooth structure. Here is how a few scenarios would go:
Dentists can catch a small fracture line early on before the tooth fractures.
-If it’s small, restore it with a porcelain inlay. This is a small piece that’s stronger and longer lasting than a white filling.
-If it’s larger, a dentist will restore it with an ONLAY. Onlays preserve your tooth structure and along with biomimetic bonding methods, make it as if your tooth were the same as before!
You haven’t seen your dentist in a long time or chose not to fix the problem. You bite on a nut and the tooth with the large silver filling fractures. This happens a lot in patients!
– It may fracture it to the nerve and need a root canal and full crown. We can still use conservative density to place a crown or cap on it after but you lose the vitality of your tooth.
– It may not be savable due to a deep fracture and need to be PULLED! Then we would consider implants or bridges. This scenario is no longer conservative and very expensive.
So you see the importance of addressing small problems early on. Our goal is to help you retain more of your smile without recommending unnecessary and expensive dental procedures. When we practice conservative dental treatments, you benefit from a stronger, healthier smile.
Call our office at (818) 508–7272 to learn more about conservative dentistry and what it can do for you! We’ll be happy to answer your questions and set up an appointment with one of our dentists.