One of the newest "buzz words" in the dental field is no-drill dentistry. The idea behind this treatment is that if tooth decay is caught early enough it can be remineralized and "reversed" through a number of preventative measures. While these techniques sound new and exciting, they are based on established concepts that we have been using in our office for years.
Tooth decay starts in enamel and spreads towards the inner layers of dentin and pulp. The bacteria begin by removing mineral from enamel, followed by destroying the scaffolding that holds the minerals. While decay sits entirely in enamel, it can be stopped and remineralized. This relies on the use of fluoride (found in drinking water, toothpaste, etc.) along with good oral hygiene (frequent brushing/flossing, low sugar diet, infrequent snacking). However, once the underlying scaffolding is gone, there is no "regrowing" lost enamel. Furthermore, decay that extends into dentin spreads rampantly and cannot be stopped from further progression. At this point, traditional dental work must be performed to keep the cavity from growing.
Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry uses the principals of no-drill dentistry on every one of our patients. We only treat decay via traditional methods when we absolutely have to and always try to naturally remineralize first. Our younger patients all receive fluoride foam treatment with every cleaning while our adult patients are consulted and evaluated for special rinses, pastes or other preventative measures. In short, we try everything possible before touching a tooth with a drill. If you would like to know more about no-drill dentistry, preventative dentistry or any other techniques, please give our office a call!