What is Conservative Dentistry?

Conservative dentistry means of preserving your natural teeth for as long and as often as possible—basically, it means making options like permanent dentures or porcelain veneers a last (albeit good) resort. When a dentist has to remove "bad tissue," they should minimize how much tooth is removed. There are certain procedures, conservative procedures, where the goal is preserving a tooth as long as it’s viable. Conservative dentistry can be applied to a wide range of dental procedures including whitening, orthodontics and even your regular cleaning.It starts by carefully assessing the mouth to see just how much irreversible damage there is—then a game plan is formed.

Tooth integrity is upheld whenever possible, and treatment plans are created so that there are minimal repeat occurrences. For example, during a routine procedure like a filling, a conservative dentist will precisely remove only the dead or irreversibly damaged areas while leaving 100 percent of the healthy material.Getting Filled In A tooth colored filling is a common procedure that’s ideal for conservative dentistry. In fact, fillings can help preserve a tooth's integrity, making it an ideal match. How long tooth restoration takes will depend on how many teeth are involved and how severe the damage is. However, the end goal is retaining as much of the tooth as possible—follow-up appointments are scheduled to check that the tooth stays healthy and doesn’t face any new problems.Like conservative healthcare across the medical fields, prevention is key. That’s why conservative dentists will encourage patients to keep their six-month checkups. Catching dental diseases early is crucial for providing the best treatment and conservation of teeth. A conservative dentist also values education, information and working as a team with the patient and dental specialists. Measures you take daily to reduce gum disease can make dentistry a natural (more affordable, less uncomfortable and less invasive) option in the future.Seeking Out a Specialist Not all dentists practice conservative dentistry but it’s an important mindset to have. Patients who are interested in teaming up with a conservative dentist can check which professional organizations their dentist belongs to—it’ll be easy to see which organizations favor conservation. Word of mouth (so to speak), information on websites and reviews can also clue you in. Of course, the best method is simply to ask.Think conservative dentistry is for you? Meet with your dentist about plotting out maximum tooth preservation and get on the path to keeping your teeth and gum tissue for longer.