Minimally Invasive Care provides patients with more control over their oral health by slowing the effects of progressive disease and creating more time for healthy behavior change, thereby preventing the need for an invasive intervention. MIC procedures steer the process away from “replacement dentistry,” wherein a cavity gets larger and the tooth gets weaker through repeated dental interventions in spite of an active underlying disease. The reality of many restorative materials used in dentistry is that these materials are not always a complete or adequate replacement for tooth structure. It is often a better option to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible as a way of contributing to a patient’s long-term health.
Yes! More and more people are learning about the benefits of MIC everyday! In 2021, the World Health Organization added fluoride toothpaste, silver diamine fluoride and glass ionomer fillings to its list of Essential Medications. Data about MIC indicates that patients report better oral health and overall satisfaction with both alternative cavity management techniques and the aesthetic appearance associated with glass ionomer fillings. We have found that many patients, families, and caregivers prefer the use of silver diamine fluoride over behavior modification techniques or sedation procedures. Families are generally more accepting of minimally invasive procedures given the reductions in pain, fear, and trauma experienced during dental treatment. As a long-term benefit, patients who avoid dental trauma are often able to gradually accept and tolerate more involved dental care.
Sound Dental Care delivers MIC and fights dental disease by implementing facility-wide prevention programs that leverage the advances in teledentistry. Our program involves a patient examination or screening, a caries risk assessment, an evaluation of susceptibility to oral diseases, oral hygiene instruction, head & neck cancer screenings, intra and extraoral photos, various levels of dental cleanings, silver diamine fluoride treatments (if consent is obtained) and fluoride varnish applications.
Our services are delivered by licensed dental hygienists with teledentistry support provided by Sound Dental Care dentists. The dentist’s primary role in our program is to serve patients by evaluating whether minimally invasive or traditional dentistry is in the patient’s best interests. In many cases, the best path forward is a combination of MIC procedures and preventive services focused on oral hygiene. As a practice, we will typically refer higher risk procedures such as extractions to a traditional brick-and-mortar practice in the local community to ensure the patient’s safety.