I will be spending the coming weekend (May 4th/5th) at the British Society of Restorative Dentists annual conference in Brighton. This years meeting promises to be a very interesting one as it is tackling a far reaching topic and one that is very close to my heart. There are several keynote speakers from around the world all of whom will be looking at the long-term effects of conventional dentistry on our patients.
Conventional restorative dentistry has centred on placing large, primarily amalgam, fillings followed by full coverage crowns once the tooth has broken. This approach has worked well for many years but at a high biological cost to the patient. Large fillings produce fracture lines in teeth that eventually lead to the tooth breaking down. The crowns that are placed to restore these teeth require extensive drilling of sound tooth tissue to make the space for the porcelain and metal used to construct them. Now that people are living longer and expecting to keep their teeth for life we are finding that the drilling away of healthy tooth tissue is something that we want to avoid at all cost.
Modern restorative dentistry is much more interested in using adhesive “add on” approaches where drilling is kept to a minimum. This is certainly where my interest lies and is the basis of all of my treatment planning. I am very keen to see what the findings of this meeting are and what direction the profession as a whole is taking. It is my belief that there will be far greater push to minimal preparation designs where we support teeth using modern bonding techniques and much thinner porcelains to reduce the amount of drilling required. Along with this I am sure we will see much discussion about prevention centred treatment planning and minimal intervention techniques such as air abrasion and adhesive restorations. I will keep you posted with the findings and will make sure that StoneRock is keeping up with every new development.