Could Advances In Restorative Dentistry Help Your Practice Grow?

Restorative dentistry has been transformed by recent advances in technologies, materials and methods [1]. And now the growing demand for minimally invasive treatments could help you to provide clinically beneficial improvements to your patients.

The evolution of restorative dentistry

Recent technical and treatment advances in restorative dentistry have resulted in dentists being able to provide better and longer lasting care to their patients by practicing minimally invasive dentistry.


In doing so, practitioners are now able to better maintain the structural integrity of the tooth by:

  • Reducing tooth trauma by earlier detection of cavity

  • Using kinder and more gentle methods of caries removal

  • Minimizing enamel removal prior to the placement of veneers [2]

But it’s not just a professional appreciation of these clinical benefits that’s behind the growing trend for minimally invasive dentistry [3].

Greater patient knowledge has increased demand, and people are now less willing to sacrifice tooth structure for a confident smile.


The growing importance of pre-restorative treatments

Many patients are now seeking simpler restorative solutions that don’t involve shaving back large areas of enamel to then have veneers.

They are opting for pre-restorative treatments such as Clear Aligners which can gently move teeth into an optimum position and then enable the placement of thinner, more minimally invasive veneers [4].

Some regard this popular type of pre-restorative orthodontics as a cornerstone of comprehensive dental care [5].

In addition to being popular, discreet and completely removable, clear aligners can ensure that there are no limitations on the wearer’s ability to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy throughout the process [6].


Global trends in restorative dentistry

It is estimated that the global restorative dentistry market will be worth $21.27 billion by 2022, due to increased dental disease, rising demand for advanced cosmetic dental procedures, growing dental tourism and increasing dental expenditure. Europe holds the largest share of this market [7].  

But it’s not just a matter of vanity that’s driving increased patient demand for restorative treatments.

As Dr Patrick Holmes, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Dentistry, explains, “If you do not have confidence in your smile, it can affect your behavior and self-assurance.” [8]

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The rise of patient preference

“Patient demand for minimally-invasive treatments has increased massively,” says Dr Manrina Rhode, one of the UK’s top cosmetic dentists and an internationally respected expert and teacher in cosmetic dentistry [9].

“Up until about ten years ago I was routinely prepping teeth, with prior consent, because that’s what patients wanted. A perfect smile without pre-alignment regardless of the risks involved.”

“There were also far more crowns back then, but now I rarely prep a crown. I’ll usually prep just the part of the tooth that I need to prep, and the labs can now make pieces of porcelain to fit the natural tooth accordingly. Adhesive techniques and the way that we bond porcelain to the tooth have also moved on considerably over the past decade, so we no longer need to prep large areas of the tooth away for retention”.


Advances in pre-restorative orthodontics

Dr Rhode believes that media criticism of some unnatural-looking smiles, resulting from a minority of bad dentistry practices, has helped patients to appreciate the benefits of minimally-invasive restorative treatments and improved pre-restorative orthodontics.

“I think the availability of quick, invisible orthodontics has really changed things for the public,” says Dr Rhode.

“Back in 2008 I would say to patients, ‘I really don’t want to prep your teeth but in order to avoid cutting them I’ll have to move them first.’ But now there are so many orthodontic options available to move teeth which are quick and non-invasive to patients’ lives.”

Two popular ways to become more minimal

“I believe that minimally-invasive dentistry is definitely the way forward,” says Dr Rhode.

“One of the best ways for dentists to get involved is to first learn about tooth whitening, because it’s minimally invasive and it can make a massive difference to the appearance of a smile. After that, I would strongly recommend some form of clear aligner course."

Now’s the time to reshape the future of restorative dentistry

Less is more in this new era of minimally invasive restorative dentistry.

Recent advances in materials and techniques and increased public awareness of the benefits of pre-restorative orthodontics can now offer you the opportunity to provide the clinically beneficial improvements to your patients. [10]