Embracing Minimally Invasive Dentistry: Dr. Curtis Henderson's Approach

Dr Curtis Henderson speaks on minimal invasive dentistry and how he implements in often in his approach to dentistry.

In the rapidly evolving world of dentistry, conservative and minimally invasive techniques are gaining recognition for their emphasis on preserving natural tooth structure. Dr. Curtis Henderson of Centreville, Virginia, is a prominent advocate of this approach, driven by a commitment to patient-centric care. His journey towards biomimetic restorative dentistry—a practice that imitates natural tooth structure—demonstrates his commitment to preserving as much of the original tooth as possible.

Dr. Henderson’s shift from traditional to conservative dentistry was gradual. Initially trained to follow conventional protocols, he often recommended crowns when more than half of a tooth’s structure was compromised. However, this approach felt counterintuitive to him. He recalls, “It felt like going to a physician with a finger infection and being told that to save your arm, you have to cut off your whole hand.”

His perspective changed after being exposed to biomimetic dentistry and the principles of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry's “responsible esthetics,” which advocates for preserving natural tooth structure in cosmetic procedures. This realization strengthened his resolve to abandon traditional methods in favor of techniques that prioritize the longevity and health of the tooth.

One of the cornerstones of Dr. Henderson's practice is the prevention and reversal of early tooth decay without resorting to drilling. Traditional methods often involve removing even the smallest cavities immediately. However, research supports that early decay can be halted and reversed with proper care. In his practice, Dr. Henderson advises patients with early signs of cavities to use higher strength fluoride toothpaste and maintains regular monitoring through X-rays. This approach often results in the improvement or complete reversal of decay, sparing patients from unnecessary fillings.

Modern dental technology plays a crucial role in enabling conservative treatments. Adhesive dentistry materials have revolutionized the field, allowing for stronger, longer-lasting bonds. Additionally, CAD/CAM technology in Dr. Henderson’s office facilitates same-day milling of restorations, eliminating the challenges of temporizing minimally invasive preparations. Patients benefit from the convenience and durability of these advanced techniques, which align perfectly with the principles of minimally invasive dentistry.

The primary advantage of minimally invasive dentistry is the prolonged life of the tooth. By preserving more of the healthy structure, the tooth remains stronger and more resilient over time. Dr. Henderson explains that traditional restorations, such as crowns, can weaken the tooth, setting off a cycle of deterioration he refers to as the “tooth cycle of death.” This cycle often begins with a filling and progresses through larger restorations, eventually leading to tooth loss. Minimally invasive techniques break this cycle, providing long-term benefits.

A compelling example of the impact of conservative dentistry is a patient who sought Dr. Henderson’s second opinion after being advised to undergo full mouth extractions and implants. Despite significant decay, Dr. Henderson identified enough healthy tooth structure to restore most of the patient’s teeth with conservative bonding. This approach not only preserved the patient’s teeth but also restored his confidence and overall well-being. The patient, who had been facing the daunting prospect of losing all his teeth, expressed immense gratitude for the conservative treatment that allowed him to maintain his natural smile.

Dr. Curtis Henderson’s commitment to conservative dentistry represents a significant shift towards more sustainable and patient-friendly dental practices. Through innovative techniques and a deep understanding of dental health, he continues to champion the preservation of natural tooth structure, ensuring his patients enjoy healthier, longer-lasting smiles.

To follow his journey visit his Instagram page.

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