Minimally Invasive Dentistry: Concepts, Technology, and Techniques for Everyday Practice

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 04/26/2013
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STUDIO CITY, Calif. Oct. 4, 2013 ??Dentists, inherently, are resistant to change,? said Ron Kaminer, DDS, at Dental Learning?s Updates in Contemporary Dentistry meeting. Dr. Kaminer?s lecture focused on how dentistry is in the midst of a paradigm shift and is escaping traditional treatment modalities, in lieu of current more modern forms of treatment. This movement is not limited to any particular aspect of dentistry, and holds true for all aspects of dentistry.

Pushing the Envelope for Change

In his presentation, Dr. Kaminer discussed a varied number of topics, all with the focus of improving patient care. According to Kaminer, dentists have used their education as a background, but have wavered away from the hard line stance taught in dental school. ?Some of you are looking for change, some of you are not. Some of you have sought change but couldn?t find it. Others are content in exactly what they are doing today,? said Dr. Kaminer.

Detecting Caries Early

One piece of technology that's become an indispensable part of Dr. Kaminer's minimally invasive armamentarium is Air Techniques' Spectra caries detection aid. Operating similarly to Doppler radar, Spectra offers color-coded visuals of the affected area in addition to numeric readings to indicate the degree of decay. "Because it finds caries at it earliest stages," said Dr. Kaminer, "I can conserve healthy tooth structure, manage caries medically, and  minimi  tooth cutting." He also especially likes being able to store the images and compare them over time to track the effectiveness of treatment.

Detecting Cancer Early

Dr. Kaminer believes strongly in the dental team's role in early oral cancer detection. His team uses DenMat's Velscope system to simply and non-invasively discover soft-tissu abnormalities that are particularly important in the fight against oral cancer and saving lives. Velscope uses a blue spectrum light that causes intraoral soft tissue to fluoresce--healthy tissue fluoresces in distinctive patterns that are visibly disrupted by trauma or disease, simplifying the identification of abnormalities. Velscope is a key component of Dr. Kaminer's patient-focused, miniminally invasive practice philosphy.  


Another  must-have in Dr. Kaminer's practice is his diode laser. He uses AMD Lasers' Picasso and recommended it to dentists new to laser dentistry as well as for those seasoned practitioner who need a full-service soft-tissue workhorse. Commenting that he could never go back to practicing without it, Dr. Kaminer said he uses the Picasso diode for everything from frenectomies and gingival sculpting to gingival retraction prior to impression taking (no more packing cord!). He also mentioned AMD's lower-wattage Picasso LIte as a great starter unit with an even more affordable price point than the Picasso.

Why Isn?t Whitening a Practice Staple?

?Do you know how much Americans spent on nonprescription tooth whitening in 2012?? asked Dr. Kaminer. The answer:

2012 Gross Sales (in dollars)
1.    CVS ?123.13 billion 
2.    Walgreens ?    70.79 billion 
3.    Rite Aid ? 26.1 billion

According to Kaminer, this is lost revenue that can be gained back by using evidence-based professional whitening products, like SDI's POLA Office. Kaminer said he prefers and uses this 35% hydrogen peroxide system for its speed and because it contains potassium nitrate that significantly reduces or eliminates sensitivity. For added convenience, POLA Office does not require a light for activation.

Biocompatible cement

Kaminer noted that key to the minimally invasive approach is the use of biocompatible materials formulated with properties similar to natural tooth structure, such as Doxa's Ceramir crown and bridge cement. He outlined them many benefits of Ceramir's innovative biomimetic chemistry, including nanocrystals that integrate with dentin and enamel, high pH to resist acid and bacteria, and thermal properties similar to natural dentition for reduced stress and microleakage.

Infection Control Matters

?All restorative techniques will fail if the bacterial infection is not controlled,? said Dr. Kaminer. Citing this, Dr. Kaminer made reference to several infection control products that he uses in his practice. As Kaminer demonstrated in his presentation, even newer tips can be contaminated, which can lead to wear on the tip and can also result in a less snug fit, impacting air/water separation.
Kaminer also went onto educate attendees about the proper maintenance of the  ?Heart of the Office,? or the vacuum pump. According to Kaminer, just like the human heart, the vacuum pump is vital to the life of the office.

?    The practice cannot function if the pump fails
?    Lines/arteries must be kept clear for the pump to work most effectively
?    It?s important that what we use are the right tools to maintain clean lines/arteries

Facing the Challenges of Change

Dr. Kaminer concluded his lecture with the following quote from Arnold Bennett, ?Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.?

In a separate interview with Dental Learning staff, Dr. Kaminer noted that he uses Sultan?s FLASHTIPS in his practice because they are disposable evacuation tips that help prevent cross-contamination. Kaminer also recommended Sultan?s Purevac SC because it keeps the trap and evacuation lines open, prevents build-up that can hinder the system?s performance, and helps the system operate properly and more efficiently.