The Disturbing Trend of Minimally Invasive DentistryUpdated: January 25, 2018 Oral Health
What could be so wrong with minimally invasive dentistry? Sounds like a good idea right? Actually it’s anything but.
Minimally invasive dentistry involves detecting a cavity when it is very small and doing small treatments – removing small amounts of tooth structure and putting in small fillings.
Proponents of this type of dentistry (both conventional and holistic dentists) cite the benefits of having tiny parts of the tooth removed and tiny fillings placed as opposed to having large holes drilled and large fillings placed.
Minimally invasive dentistry gives people the false impression that they are choosing something healthy for their teeth by having small amounts of tooth structure removed, and that the dentist doing small treatments and fillings is providing a great holistic service to people.
Of course when you give someone those options – small filling or big filling – everyone is going to agree that a small filling is better. But what is so disturbing about minimally invasive dentistry is that it implies the only options are small or big fillings.
But there is a third option that people are not told. And that option is to have no filling. If you had a choice between small, big or no filling, now tell me what you prefer. Personally I prefer no filling, and I bet a lot of other people do too.
Catching tiny cavities and putting in tiny fillings is really not helping people. See, these tiny cavities are actually totally reversible. People don’t need tiny holes drilled in their teeth – they need to be told that they can remineralize their teeth and harden up the small soft spots.
Dental Textbooks Acknowledge Ability of Cavities to Heal
Don’t believe me because you’ve never been given this option before? Here is a quote is straight from my dental school textbook:
“It has been shown experimentally and clinically that incipient caries [small cavities] of enamel can remineralize.” – Sturdevant’s Art & Science of Operative Dentistry 4th Edition, 2002
A few reasons why remineralizing your tooth is a far superior choice over minimally invasive dentistry:
- Having a filling in your tooth, no matter what size means dedicating the rest of your life to needing it repaired and replaced (fillings don’t last forever).
- Fillings of all sizes are susceptible to recurrent decay, especially if the underlying cause of the cavity has not been addressed (and it is not with minimally invasive dentistry)
- After remineralizing your natural tooth you certainly won’t need to keep seeing your dentist every so many years to have it replaced! In fact, remineralized teeth are more resilient to cavities in the future.
“These discolored, remineralized, arrested caries [cavities] areas are in-tact and are more resistant to subsequent caries [cavity] attack than the adjacent unaffected enamel. They should not be restored unless they are esthetically objectionable.” – Sturdevant’s Art & Science of Operative Dentistry 4th Edition, 2002
(Another quote straight from my dental school textbook. Makes one wonder why it is not promoted in the modern conventional or holistic dental office…)
I was once talking to a dentist friend of mine about small cavities. She said, “Oh I don’t bother observing them. I just go ahead and fill them. What is the point of watching a cavity just get bigger and bigger?”
But why does she think there just two options, big or small cavity? What about the third option of remineralizing it or healing it?
A lady told me that she went to see a very well known holistic dentist who gave her tons of options for how to remove her daughter’s small cavity and tons of options for different materials to fill it with.
But no option to heal the cavity (which by the way the lady and daughter did do, thankfully).
Remineralization Does Not Occur Using Fluoride
I like to make sure I mention the term, ‘healing,’ because certainly there are some dentists and hygienists out there who promote remineralization of teeth but only through the use of fluoride.
Using fluoride does not heal our teeth. Healing our teeth involves naturally restoring the lost minerals from our teeth by addressing the underlying local and systemic cause(s) of the cavity in the first place. And as much as the toothpaste companies would love for people to think so, cavities are not caused by a lack of fluoride.
Naturally remineralizing or healing one’s teeth can be rather simple for some people and incredibly challenging for others. For some people it can be as simple as cutting out some garbage foods and drinks. It may mean adding in some real food or taking fermented cod liver oil. For others it involves a massive change in their lifestyle and dietary habits.
No matter what amount of work you put into naturally remineralizing and healing your teeth, I promise you that your teeth and the rest of your body will thank you.
It’s time to stop sticking band-aid treatments in our mouths. Regardless of whether they are small band-aids or not, fillings and other dental treatments cover up our ability to take control of our health and healing capabilities.
The power to live a healthy life does not lie in the hands of your dentist, hygienist or any other practitioner. You have the power.
More on How to Remineralize Teeth to Heal Cavities
The book Cure Tooth Decay outlines in detail the dietary protocol for remineralizing tooth enamel. According to the author Rami Nagel, the most important two dietary steps for remineralization include a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil (NOT regular cod liver oil) and regular consumption of raw, grassfed dairy.