Dr. Andrew Cobb has been providing expert dental care to his patients in Washington DC while also advancing his dental education. Dr. Cobb brings the concept of Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MInD or Micro-dentistry) to his practice by incorporating state-of-the-art dental technologies for the comfort and health of his patients. Our office is equipped with some of the most advanced dental technology to aid in our diagnosis and treatment planning. Dr. Cobb is a highly skilled and experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist who specializes in treating adult patients who have complex dental problems and cosmetic concerns with Minimally Invasive Dentistry.
What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?
Repairing tooth damage, addressing decay and restorative dentistry focus on the removal and replacement of natural tooth structure with the goal of stabilizing your dental health. Minimally invasive dentistry aims to identify and address these common dental problems as early as possible to avoid extensive damage and the need to remove a large part of a tooth or extract it entirely. Dr. Cobb uses this approach to help patients maintain their natural tooth structure for as long as possible, the key to a lasting and stable smile.
The goal of minimally invasive dentistry is to preserve and protect instead of remove and replace.
Minimally invasive dentistry focuses on preserving as much of the natural teeth, gums, and bone as possible. This preservation is achieved by two things: disease prevention and early intervention. Dr. Cobb spends considerable time with each patient explaining all of the treatment options to help them reach the best decision for their long term dental health and happiness. He will also educate them on the prevention of disease because that is crucial to preserving your oral health and its natural state. By using modern minimally invasive dentistry techniques, he can offer patients more options for treatment.
The art and science of repairing tooth damage and addressing imperfections in a smile have greatly improved due to the many advances in materials and techniques used to adhere compounds and ceramics to the tooth surfaces. The minimally invasive dentistry approach makes strategic use of advanced materials to support tooth natural tooth structure and minimize the use of more invasive restorative treatments including dental crowns.
Early Detection & Advanced Technology
Dr. Cobb uses advanced digital technology to enhance the visual exam, looking for the early warning signs of developing decay or damage. Intra-oral photography using a convenient handheld camera makes it possible for our team to spot the signs of decay far earlier than is possible with more traditional methods. The minimally invasive approach recommends supporting the tooth structure through remineralization techniques in patients with eroding enamel, worn teeth and other risk factors that could lead to decay or damage.
During routine dental exams, we fully evaluate all aspects of your oral health and discuss your medical history and lifestyle habits that impact your dental health. As a result of this comprehensive approach to your care, we can provide oral hygiene advice that is tailored to your unique needs and risk factors with the goal of minimizing the risk of decay.
If signs of disease, damage or decay are spotted, Dr. Cobb may recommend additional oral care products to improve tooth enamel or the use of a bonding material to seal the tooth and stop progression at the earliest stage.
Dr. Cobb is among a small percentage of dentists in the Washington, DC to offer laser dentistry. Laser dentistry allows dentists to target an isolated area of the mouth. Isolating the treatment area guarantees no damage to the healthy surrounding teeth and tissue. This will also decrease the need for anesthesia and limits bleeding and swelling. Other benefits of laser dentistry include: faster treatment, less down time, no sutures are needed and there is less risk of infection. All this creates a much more pleasant experience for the patient.
Dental lasers allow Dr. Cobb to perform many soft tissue procedures that traditionally require surgery. Laser dentistry offers a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. Dr. Cobb may use lasers to treat patients with:
- Tooth Decay
- Gum Disease
- Teeth Whitening
- Dental Fillings
- Crown Lengthening
- Gum Reduction
- TMJ Treatments
DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Detection
The early stages of a tooth cavity are the easiest to treat. Dr. Cobb uses DIAGNOdent, an incredible Minimally Invasive Dentistry tool that can find even the smallest areas of tooth decay and cavities. DIAGNOdent uses laser technology to scan an entire tooth allowing Dr. Cobb to identify if cavities are developing, even ones hiding in small spaces. In the past, a dentist may not have seen a small tooth cavity hidden in cracks and crevices of teeth until it became larger. DIAGNOdent allows Dr. Cobb to treat early tooth decay thus preserving more of your natural tooth. Early intervention of tooth cavities means less pain, decreased risk of tooth damage and therefore a much lower chance of additional dental treatments.
Microabrasion for Teeth
Stained teeth, brown spots on teeth and white spots on teeth that do not respond to teeth bleaching can be an embarrassing issue for some patients. Microabrasion for teeth is a newer Minimally Invasive Dentistry technique that allows Dr. Cobb to remove those discolorations. Microabrasion also allows Dr. Cobb to prepare teeth in a much more conservative manner than is possible with traditional dental tools. This allows him to remove tooth decay and prepare teeth for dental restorations like dental veneers or dental crowns. Microabrasion uses a fine abrasive spray comprised of hydrochloric acid and pumice. Dr. Cobb will isolate the teeth being treated then will gently rub in the abrasive mixture. He will rinse it off with water and repeat until desired results are met.
Other tools that Dr. Cobb uses for Minimally Invasive Dentistry include digital dental x-rays, intraoral cameras and digital impressions. Digital dental x-rays are used to capture precise images of the teeth, bones, and joints to accurately diagnose a patient’s dental condition. The IntraOral Camera is a tiny video camera on a wand-like probe that moves comfortably inside the mouth around the teeth and gums to easily and accurately identify problems in their earliest stages. Digital impressions use lasers and optical scanning to digitally capture the surface and contours of the tooth and gums in less than five minutes. These tools allow Dr. Cobb to accurately analyze, diagnose and treat all forms of oral health concerns at the earliest stages when they are easier to treat. Early treatment ensures long term dental health for you!