Tooth decay is a worldwide problem that affects scores of people. Tooth decay is among the leading causes of tooth loss in the world. It is usually linked to poor oral hygiene, a sugary diet, and at times underlying conditions such as diabetes. That’s why our dentist emphasizes preventive dentistry.
The best line of defense is to prevent tooth decay from developing. Thankfully, we have dental sealants in Smithtown, NY, and fluoride treatments that effectively keep cavities and tooth decay at bay.
Dental sealants and fluoride can be used together or separately, depending on what works best for you. So, you should buckle up and enjoy this ride as we explore these two preventive treatments.
Usually, when it rains, some people will cover their bodies using raincoats. So when the rain falls on them, they don’t stay wet. This is the same principle that dental sealants operate on. It is a coating made from an adhesive material, usually resin or glass ionomer, which our dentist near you applies to your teeth.
The adhesive material coats the entire chewing surface and seals off the grooves in the teeth, which are the perfect hiding spots for bacteria and food debris. The dental sealant protects the tooth against corrosive acid and ensures food doesn’t lodge in the grooves.
Dental sealants are viewed as a treatment for children and teenagers since they are more prone to developing cavities than adults. Because their oral hygiene habits are developing, the tight grooves and pockets of their new teeth are much harder to clean. Plus, they have yet to learn how to employ the proper brushing technique.
But it doesn’t mean that adults cannot benefit from this treatment. It is also an effective preventive treatment, especially if you are prone to getting cavities.
Contrary to what some people may believe, sealants are not only suitable for children. While it is true that most patients who have received this treatment are children, it doesn’t mean that it is limited or best suited for kids. Anyone interested can benefit from using dental sealants since the only caveat is that the teeth being applied shouldn’t have cavities or decay.
Sealants protect the teeth from cavities since they coat the teeth, adding another layer of protection. Therefore, bacteria will not have the chance to wreak havoc.
Molars and premolars have deep grooves that are perfect hiding spots for bacteria. Also, they are much harder to clean since they have deep fissures and grooves. However, when a sealant is applied to the chewing surface of your back teeth, they reduce the grooves’ depth, making it easier to clean.
Applying sealants will offer your teeth protection for quite some time. If it’s a child, they will go through their cavity-prone years with their teeth protected from cavities. Sealants can last for several years, especially if you take good care of them.
Sealants are a preventive measure for all ages. However, some insurance companies view it as a treatment for children and only cover it if they get it.
It would be good if sealants could last much longer. However, their efficacy reduces after the second or third year.
If the procedure is performed and there is tooth decay, then it could seal in the decay. It is a rare occurrence, but it happens. The best thing to do is seek an experienced dentist near you who can avoid these scenarios.
While dental sealants near you protect your teeth from acid and bacteria, fluoride is applied to strengthen and rebuild your teeth. It is also effective in fighting against cavities.
Fluoride treatment is a straightforward procedure that takes several minutes to complete. Our dentist can apply a fluoride gel, varnish, or gel to your teeth, give it a few minutes and then rinse it off.
Since fluoride treatment is viewed as essential care for children and adults, you can expect dental insurance companies to cover the procedure.
Unlike dental sealants, which must be reapplied after several years, fluoride must be reapplied during dental visits. They will strengthen your teeth after application but will not protect your teeth.
Fluoride treatments are best suited for ongoing preventive care. However, it is ineffective in preventing cavities over a long period as dental sealants.
Now that you know the pros and cons of each treatment, you have a better idea of what treatment you desire to receive when you come to visit us. You can contact us at Joseph B Pantaleo DDS to schedule an appointment.