How Microscopic Dentistry Raises Treatment Standards and Patient Satisfaction

Anaesthesia, modern dental chairs, and high-speed drills have greatly alleviated the fear of dentists. Now, microscopic dentistry offers even more benefits. We can now add the microscope to the growing list of sophisticated dental equipment, such as intraoral cameras, scanners, x-ray machines, ultrasonic scalers, and polishers.

Its invention in the late 17th century by a Dutch scientist named Antonie van Leeuwenhoek marked the birth of microbiology and was instrumental in identifying microorganisms as the cause of common infectious diseases. Today, the applications of microscopy are more diverse and include electronics, mineralogy, forensic science, and component inspection, to name just a few.

To the dentist, the magnification provided by this system of compound lenses offers an enhanced view of a patient’s teeth that enhances both diagnosis and treatment. For example, bacteria are also the cause of dental caries, a condition which, if left untreated, can lead to the loss of the affected tooth or teeth. However, a naked-eye inspection will often only detect this problem when it is already far advanced.

By contrast, this specialist dentistry option can easily spot the tiny cavities that are the earliest signs of tooth decay, providing a dentist with an opportunity to save the affected tooth with only minimal intervention.


The Role of Microscopic Dentistry in Endodontics

Dentistry is divided into several categories. These include:

  • Orthodontics: Straightening misaligned teeth.
  • Prosthodontics: Manufacturing and fitting dental prostheses.
  • Periodontics: Treating gum disease, recession, and bone loss.
  • Endodontics: Attention to tissues inside the teeth.


Of these, microscopic dentistry can be of particular benefit to the latter. As its name implies, endodontics is about what’s happening inside the teeth and is better known to most patients as root canal treatment.

The dental pulp can become infected when a cavity is deep enough to penetrate it. Root canal treatment is a form of dental surgery that involves removing all the infected material from within the tooth and then filling or sealing it. When successful, endodontic treatment can avoid the need for an extraction. Only through the application of this specialist dentistry technology can dental specialists be confident that every last particle of the infected material has been removed.

Patients sometimes query the need to save a tooth at all costs, given that a bridge can provide a cosmetically pleasing and practical replacement. However, once there is no longer a root embedded in any part of the jaw, a natural process known as bone resorption leads to permanent bone loss in the newly vacant area. This phenomenon explains why upper, lower or full-mouth dentures eventually become loose.

Other Benefits of Microscopic Dentistry

In addition to a valuable role in endodontics and the early detection of cavities, microscopy offers dentists the following benefits:

  • Aids the removal of old fillings.
  • Enables more accurate preparation of crowns and implants.
  • Helpful in preparing photographic documentation.
  • Improved visual acuity when suturing.
  • Helping dentists maintain an ergonomic, spine-neutral posture.


Microscopic Dentistry in Pretoria and Johannesburg

Patients in Gauteng can enjoy the many benefits of microscopic dentistry when visiting a Dr Ivan Marx dental surgery in Pretoria, Johannesburg, or Moreleta Park. Please click here to book an appointment with one of our dental specialists, and we’ll do everything possible to preserve and enhance your smile.