Find my Delta Dental company

The national network of Delta Dental companies protects more smiles than any other insurance company. Have a question about coverage or looking for dental insurance? Connect with your Delta Dental company to learn more.

Go

*Not sure where your company is headquartered? Contact your company's human resources department.

Looking for a dentist?

Delta Dental has the largest network of dentists nationwide. Find the one that’s right for you.

Find a dentist

Search by current location

Please input information for either ZIP code or address but not both

Cost matters

How much is it going to cost? Want to know before you set foot in the dentist’s office? Get started here. Our Dental Care Cost Estimator tool provides estimated cost ranges for common dental care needs.

Calculate cost
This zip code doesn't exist Please select a treatment type
The Dental Care Cost Estimator provides an estimate and does not guarantee the exact fees for dental procedures, what services your dental benefits plan will cover or your out-of-pocket costs. Estimates should not be construed as financial or medical advice. For more detailed information on your actual dental care costs, please consult your dentist or your Delta Dental.
Please sign in below
Create an account

Here are the benefits of creating an account

Member
  • View plan information
  • Download forms
  • View claims
  • Track dental activity
Dentist
  • Check patient eligibility
  • Download claim forms
  • Check national ERA
  • See dental offical deals

What is a minimally invasive procedure?

Fixing Dental Problems with Less Damage to Teeth

You may have heard the term “minimally invasive.” In medicine, it usually refers to procedures that minimize damage to tissue. In dentistry, “minimally invasive” has a similar meaning. Dentists who use these methods try to save as much of the natural tooth as possible when repairing a problem, such as tooth decay.

Examples of Minimally Invasive Procedures

Here are some examples of methods that dentists can use to spare your teeth:

  • Remineralization. This is a process that helps rebuild damaged tooth enamel in the early stages of tooth decay by using minerals, such as fluoride. This can help prevent tooth decay from progressing into a full cavity that needs a filling. Remineralization may include the use of toothpaste, rinses, and other dental products with fluoride, calcium, and phosphate.

    Stimulating the saliva is also helpful in the remineralization process because saliva contains the minerals calcium and phosphate as well as residual fluoride from toothpaste, fluoridated drinking water or fluoride rinses. The tooth needs these minerals to repair early damage by bacterial acids. Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate salivary flow.

  • Inlays and onlays. These are alternatives to crowns, which cover the entire chewing surface and sides of a damaged tooth. Unlike crowns, inlays and onlays do not require a dentist to remove as much of your natural tooth. An inlay is smaller than a crown and fits in the “contours” of a tooth. An inlay may not be suitable if a large portion of the tooth needs to be restored. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It usually covers most of the chewing surface on a tooth but not all of the sides. It takes time for the dentist to fit an inlay or onlay to your teeth, so treatment may require two or more trips to the dentist.

  • Sealants. These plastic barriers help protect teeth against damaging acid from bacterial plaque. They are “painted” on and bonded to the biting surfaces of the back teeth and don’t require any cutting into the tooth. Sealants can help protect vulnerable areas of teeth. This includes the fissures or grooves of the chewing areas of back teeth, or molars, that can trap food and bacterial plaque.

     

     

“Maintaining the Integrity of the Enamel Surface: The Role of Dental Biofilm, Saliva, and Preventive Agents in Enamel Demineralization and Remineralization.” F. Garcia-Godoy and M.J. Hicks. Journal of the American Dental Association. May 2008, vol. 139, pp. 25S-34S. Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18460677Accessed 2013.

“Amalgam Silver-Colored Dental Fillings." Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/Amalgam.aspx Accessed 2013.

“Sealants.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants.aspx Accessed 2013.

“Products—Old, New, and Emerging.” V.W. Spolsky et al. CDA Journal. October 2007, vol. 35, no. 10. Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18044380. Accessed 2013.

“What Is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?” Academy of General Dentistry, January 2012. www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=M&iid=713&aid=3812 Accessed 2013.

Back to Articles