Designed by nature
Every person, every set of teeth and every tooth is unique. Did you know that it takes 10 to 12 years for a tooth or molar to fully develop? On average, the first permanent teeth start appearing from the age of six however it takes until the age of 10 to 12 before the roots of the relevant teeth are fully formed.
Our dental tissue is the hardest tissue in our bodies. It is extremely strong and is able to withstand enormous external forces and influences. The part of the tooth that is visible is also known as the crown, which consists of various layers. In the centre there is the pulp (dental pulp), a vascular strand that provides feeling in the tooth and internal nutrition of the dentine. The pulp is surrounded by dentine, which provides the required flexibility. The outermost layer consists of the enamel. This is the hardest layer of the tooth, giving it rigidity and protecting it from, amongst other things, temperature differences, acids and mechanical wear.
The stratification of the dental tissue gives a palette of colours, translucencies and fluorescence. Each tooth or molar has a specific shape, which differs from person to person. A tooth can be regarded as being a jewel or work of art, designed by nature, and should therefore be respected and treated as such. It cannot be repaired or replaced without due forethought – expertise and a high degree of artistic skill are therefore required.
Less is more – minimum invasiveness, maximum effectiveness
Because nature has designed our teeth with perfection it is important to retain healthy dental tissue as much as possible. Our approach therefore focuses on making and keeping dental tissue healthy by making the client aware of the specific processes that take place in the mouth. Changing (eating) habits can result in a spectacular improvement, without any treatment having been undertaken. The fundamental principle for treatments is: minimum invasiveness, maximum effectiveness.
Laser treatment: healthy dental tissue is the basis for healthy teeth. Chronic dental tissue inflammation that cannot be healed after extensive cleaning is generally treated by means of a flap procedure. The result of a flap procedure is that dental tissue and underlying bone are lost and darker areas can form between the teeth. We prefer to use a laser treatment rather than a flap procedure in order to prevent these “dark spaces” between the teeth. Laser treatment is also less invasive than a procedure and can usually be undertaken without anaesthetic.
Biomimetic approach: since the early 1990s we have had access to restoration materials that have proven themselves over the last two decades. As a result of this it is no longer necessary to remove undercuts from cavities or to create extra grip for restoration and the (unnecessary) cutting away of healthy tooth material can thus be prevented. It is also possible to protect the nerve after drilling, which means that a root canal treatment can be better prevented. Once the nerve has been removed from a tooth or molar the chance of it surviving is greatly reduced. In the past a root canal post was used to rebuild a broken tooth or molar. This greatly increased the risk of root fracture, as a result of which the tooth would be lost. Fortunately, the current bonding techniques mean that a root canal post is no longer necessary and the risk of root fracture has been greatly reduced.
Direct replacement of a tooth or molar: if it is no longer possible to retain a tooth or molar then our preference is to replace it directly using an implant. This means that the tooth or molar is not removed in advance, thus ensuring that the maximum amount of socket, bone and dental tissue can be retained. Research has shown that when a tooth or molar is removed, between one quarter to half of the tissue (bone and dental tissue) is lost during the healing process. When a tooth is replaced directly, the tooth is removed, any inflamed tissue is removed, the socket is filled with supporting material, an implant is fitted and a temporary artificial crown is fixed to the implant. This ensures that the maximum amount of existing tissue is retained. If a tooth or molar has become too weak to be retained then it is important that this is identified in a timely manner. Retaining a bad tooth for too long can result in excessive bone loss, which means that minimum invasive treatment is no longer possible.