Minimally invasive dentistry (MID) is a new concept that suggests changing the principles of operative dentistry, as it has been proven to be a better way to manage the dental disease with minimally invasive procedures keeping the integrity of the tooth intact. A study published in 2018 in the British Dental Journal “investigated understanding and perception of MID, factors affecting the knowledge, whether there was similar understanding and perception of MID and the level of implication of the concept of MID among GDPs in the UK.”1
This was an observational cross-section study design that utilized paper-based questionnaires. A total of 170 questionnaires were distributed and 149 were returned for a 87.6% participation rate. Of the participants the median year of qualification was 2014, while the median years of being in clinical practices were 1.39, indicating most respondents were younger more recently qualified general dentists.
Even though 58% of the respondents reported having some knowledge of MID, only 11% reported having a great deal of knowledge of MID. Impressively, 70% of the respondents reported always carrying out a caries risk assessment, however, only 48% reported they always use caries risk assessment to determine an appropriate treatment plan.
The respondents were presented with three scenarios, 1) would you treat and restore an interproximal lesion with a radiographic radiolucency confined to enamel in a vital asymptomatic lower first molar in a patient with a low caries risk? 2) same scenario, with a high caries risk patient, 3) when restoring a vital asymptomatic lower first molar with a radiograph that shows a radiolucent lesion well into the dentin and near the pulp? Only 28% of respondents scored all three scenarios correctly, this conveyed these respondents know about the concept of MID.
MID provides a team care approach that involves the patient. The dental professional should make sure the patient understands dental caries is a lifestyle-related disease and to control it they will need to be a large part of the process by taking responsibility and recognize the need for lifestyle changes. The results of this study also indicate that younger, more recently qualified dentists would be willing to apply the MID philosophy in comparison to older dentists. Overall, the survey shows less than one-third of the respondents had knowledge of MID, indicating a gap in knowledge and understanding.
The authors conclude by stating, “This questionnaire-based study demonstrated that the knowledge of MID among UK GDPs is generally poor and may benefit from further training. This study showed that old methods such as G.V. Black’s concept are still in use and only 40% of the participants with full knowledge on MID never apply G.V. Black’s concept in their clinical practice.”
Does your practice utilize MID? Is this a concept you would be interested in learning more about? Do you see the benefits of MID for specific patients, such as children and the elderly?
1. Mirsiaghi, F., Leung, A., Fine, P., Blizard, R., & Louca, C. (2018). An investigation of general dental practitioners’ understanding and perceptions of minimally invasive dentistry. British dental journal, 225(5), 420–424. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.744