When traditional dental procedures — like filing cavities and pulling teeth — are medically necessary, access to them is a critical part of ensuring oral health equity. However, less invasive services, collectively referred to as minimally-invasive care (MIC), are often an option.

Having access to a full range of oral health services can improve peoples’ oral and overall health, their dental care experience, and their ability to choose the care that’s right for them.

MIC is one tool that can help the oral health system move toward people-centered care, offering additional choices and empowering people to ask for the type of care they want. Ensuring a variety of care options are available will require oral health integration, understanding the link between oral and overall health, and coordinating care across medical and dental settings. It also warrants a focus on the social determinants of health.