A guide to micro-dentistry: Precision, gentle treatment in Hunt Valley, MD

Dentistry has advanced to the point where dentists like Dr. Thomas Rhodes at Hunt Valley Dental in MD rebuild teeth in a way that mimics the design of a natural tooth. Those teeth, in turn, are indistinguishable in how they look, feel, and function from their healthy and natural neighboring teeth. Still, it is always preferred to preserve the health of natural teeth with proactive care. Generally, the less we alter a natural tooth, the better it feels in your mouth, the more natural it appears, and the longer the tooth lasts and withstands all you put it through. Micro-dentistry, which refers to the minimal or conservative alteration of the natural tooth, also supports non-traumatic, efficient, and affordable treatment.


To rebuild a damaged or decayed tooth, a portion of natural tooth structure must be removed. In this manner, the replacement tooth structure fits together seamlessly and properly within or over the natural tooth, kind of like a jigsaw piece fits together with other pieces when completing a puzzle. For instance, by their nature, non-metal or composite and ceramic restorations require minimal removal of tooth structure to accommodate the tooth-colored composite resin filling or the porcelain crown. Such conservative approaches to care are so low-touch and non-invasive, that they are well-tolerated by most patients. No numbing anesthetic is necessary to remain comfortable throughout the procedure. This feature makes micro-dentistry particularly attractive to patients whose anxiety is triggered by common sources of dental fear, such as needles or shots to administer anesthetic.


To facilitate these procedures and to support Dr. Rhodes’ expertise in micro-dentistry, we at Hunt Valley Dental have invested in a number of advanced technologies that complement this gentle alternative to traditional approaches. For example, he uses air abrasion to precisely remove tiny areas of decay within the pits and fissures of grooved, decay-prone back teeth or molars. Aluminum oxide powder is applied as a fine, pressurized mist to quietly, painlessly, and precisely remove decayed or diseased tissue. Unlike the dental drill, air abrasion does not produce undesirable sensations or vibrations, nor does it generate heat. It promotes a low-risk, fear-free, tooth-preserving, and pleasant experience at the dentist’s office.

Air abrasion represents just one of many technologies and tools that allow for us to provide micr0-dentistry. Other systems include low-touch lasers to reshape, remove, and otherwise manipulate tissues such as the gums during periodontal therapy. Our patients appreciate that laser therapy is a scalpel-free and painless way to resolve active gum disease and support the healing of the attachments between the teeth.

Experience the micro-dentistry difference for yourself. Contact us at (410) 771-6300 to schedule your appointment at our office in Hunt Valley, also proudly serving Cockeysville, Towson, Baltimore, and Greater northeastern MD.

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