In another post, entitled Minimally Invasive Dentistry, we discussed new breakthroughs in technology that now allow us to use minimally invasive techniques to treat dental disease. What this means is, we don’t have to “cut down” teeth in order to strengthen them. Now we can take away the “bad parts” and add back to the remaining tooth structure, thus allowing us to preserve as much natural tooth as possible.
The other side of the coin here is the “Aggressively Conservative Approach”. These two approaches fit well together because it is through an aggressively conservative approach that we can best utilize the minimally invasive concept. The approach simply means we act early before the disease process gets going. It implies that if we act early, we can be more conservative, which allows us to practice more minimally invasive dentistry.
Here are some thoughts. We know that basic gum disease begins with bleeding of the gums. We know that if left untreated, bone loss occurs followed by tooth loss. Thinking a little deeper, we now know that half of the heart attacks and strokes are coming from the mouth, due to specific bacteria which produce chronic inflammation. So what if we saw some bleeding, took conservative steps to stop it and eliminate it, perhaps we could avoid not only loss of teeth but in the bigger picture, prevent a deadly heart attack or stroke. This thought process holds true for a little opening in a tooth or a little wear on the teeth. It all stems from a belief that it is better to prevent than to treat. What a novel idea!