At David Eshom Dental Health and Beauty, we want to provide you and your family with the best oral health care available — including dental sealants and fluoride treatments for cavity prevention.
Preventive dentistry measures are designed to prevent tooth damage, which results from decay and gum disease. You take preventive measures every day when you brush and floss your teeth, but we also recommend a number of office treatments that will go a step further in preserving the beauty and function of your teeth.
One service we offer is the application of dental sealants to protect the chewing surfaces of your molars. Sealants are frequently used on children, but Dr. David Eshom recommends them for all his patients, regardless of age.
To make an appointment for routine preventive check-ups and teeth cleanings, call our San Diego California office at (858) 455-9151.
What Are Sealants?
One of the most common locations of dental cavities is the back teeth (molars), where deep ridges help us chew our food. Those deep crevasses are excellent for pulverizing food before we swallow it, but they are not easy to keep clean of the plaque and bacteria that cause decay (cavities).
Dental sealants help keep those molars free of the bacteria that eat away tooth enamel, by protecting the deep grooves under a thin layer of a durable plastic sealant. They do not affect your ability to eat or chew, and they can help prevent cavities in your back teeth for several years.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Sealants can be applied in mere minutes, during a routine examination and teeth cleaning appointment.
After your teeth have been cleaned thoroughly with a dental laser (and any existing cavities have been filled), your back teeth will be treated with a gentle acid solution, which helps the sealant bond to enamel. This step does no permanent damage, and helps the sealant protect your teeth more efficiently and for a longer period of time.
Dr. Eshom will paint the liquid sealant over the chewing surfaces of your molars, where it will bond directly to the tooth. Finally, a curing light will be used to hasten the hardening of the sealant.
You should notice no difference to the feeling of your bite or the process of eating. Dental sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before reapplication is needed. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. During your six-month dental visits, Dr. Eshom will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
There are several reasons why you should avoid cavities:
- fillings are not permanent, as they must be replaced every 8-12 years;
- amalgam fillings appear metallic and can detract from the beauty of your smile;
- restorations usually cost more than preventive measures;
- toothaches can be painful and lead to anxiety;
- tooth decay can cause bad breath;
- the bacteria that cause cavities can cause other health issues, including heart disease;
- if not treated, cavities can lead to tooth loss, abscess, and even blood-borne infections.
Anyone who has had a dental filling or root-canal procedure will probably agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, most people would prefer a fast, simple preventive measure to a slower, more complex restoration. Dental sealants are not a guarantee against cavities, but they can greatly reduce bacteria in those deep ridges that can be difficult to brush and floss efficiently on your own.
Talk to Dr. Eshom about making dental sealants your “ounce of prevention” during your next appointment. Call our office at (858) 455-9151 or complete our online form to schedule your visit today!