Traditionally, when dentists were taught to restore teeth using silver fillings, preparations had to be a certain depth for the filling to work. Now dentists are using bonded composites to restore teeth and the preparations don’t always have to be as deep as they would have to be for the placement of silver fillings. Also, there is an increasing appreciation among dentists that our preparations can weaken teeth in the long run and lead to teeth breaking or cracking. Because of this, whenever possible, dentists preserve tooth structure. They only remove the amount of tooth that is needed to rid the tooth of decay and allow the placement of a relatively long lasting restoration. Minimally invasive dentistry is a term that refers to a relatively new trend in dentistry involving an attempt by dentists to minimize the size of the preps used to restore teeth.
Sometimes a tooth has a small discolouration. Only lightly planing the surface of a tooth with a fine diamond can remove it. This process is called micro abrasion and may not even require the placement of a filling.
We also see a lot of instances where teeth are missing some of their enamel due to wear. Wherever dentin is exposed to the oral environment, it tends to erode and further undermine the surrounding enamel. Over time, this accelerates the loss of surrounding enamel and tooth structure. As a preventive measure We often make very shallow retentive preparations in this dentin (depth of 0.5 to.0.75 mm) and place bonded composite restorations to protect the previously exposed dentin. These tend to minimize the erosion that will then take place. The bonded surface now slowly erode, not the dentin.
Fluoride mouthrinses are very effective in the control of dental caries. If your dentist recommends using a fluoride mouthrinse use it at different time to brushing with toothpaste. In this way you can maximize the caries preventive benefits of fluoride.
Recommended Flossing Technique.
Starting with clean hands, break off about 45cm (18 inches) of dental floss from its dispenser. Wind one end of the floss around a middle finger of one hand. Wrap the other end and most of the floss on the same finger of the other hand, leaving a small length (7-10cm/3-4 inches) stretching between the hands. With the floss held tightly between thumb and forefinger or using your interdental flosser, use a gentle sawing motion to guide the floss between adjacent teeth. Take care not to snap the floss against the gums when doing this to avoid injury. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth and gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. With the floss kept tight against the side of the tooth, gently move the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this scrubbing action to clean plaque off the adjacent tooth. If preferred, interdental flossers can be used. Move the floss back out from between the flossed teeth and repeat this procedure till al teeth have been cleaned. As the floss gets frayed or dirty, unwind unused floss from one hand and take up the used slack on the other hand.