Micro-dentistry is a new dental science that makes use of a number of special tools, including dyes that detect hidden areas of tooth decay, and air abrasion to remove and restore these new hidden areas of decay. Micro-dentistry had to be developed due to changes in the way human beings have lived over the last centuries and the effects that those changes have had on the health and wellness of teeth.
In the past century, municipalities began to put fluoride in city water supplies. The intention behind doing so was to purify water. Previous to this, water that was unpurified carried a number of bacterial agents that could and did cause widespread tooth decay (and other ailments) in entire populations. Micro-dentistry did not exist at this time, of course, because the decay caused then was often very severe, noticeable, and often resulted in unavoidable tooth loss.
With the introduction of fluoride into municipal water supplies, everything changed. Fluoride makes the surface of teeth hard and resistant to the formation of larger cavities. This does not prevent decay altogether, though. It changes the nature of tooth decay. Prior to the introduction of fluoride into water, decay usually attacked the exposed grooves in the surface of a tooth. This decay was very easy to detect with a dental explorer (the small metal probe used in general dentistry) or standard film dental x-rays. In todays world, however, the presence of fluoride in public drinking has made the outer enamel layer so hard that cavities form differently, and they are much smaller and difficult to diagnose than ever before. Micro-dentistry has evolved in direct response to this challenge.
What is now happening is that tooth decay is penetrating what appears to be perfectly intact enamel. These cavities then form in the softer dentin level beneath the outer surface of the tooth. If standard treatments are to be used, dentists now have to detect and treat cavities early on while theyre still in hard outer enamel layer. If a cavity reaches the inner dentin layer, it grows much more quickly. In the event that it is not dealt with and stopped, it will require a root canal to treat. This is where micro-dentistry has stepped in to provide some amazing solutions to people who otherwise would have to spend a great deal of money on root canals and crowns, or even possibly have to undergo tooth extractions.
The first step is to apply a red or green dye to stain areas of decay. Air abrasion is then used to gently clean the pits in dental enamel and to slightly expand the narrow grooves in teeth so that we may better test the surface for the presence of any decay. Then, using much smaller instruments than those used in regular dentistry, we can use a dental bonding compound or sealant to repair these areas.
One advantage that Micro-dentistry offers is the ability to remove only the smallest possible amount of tooth structure and repair decay with strong bonded fillings. This is a painless procedure that in most cases requires no dental anesthetic.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Cosmetic Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont, Katy, Galveston, Woodlands and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services. We also service clients internationally, including Canada, Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia, Mexico, Central America, and South America.