General & Preventive Dentistry

1. Ultrasonic Scaling

During ultrasonic scaling the instrument removes build-up of plaque, discolouration and calculus from the surface of the teeth, while washing and cooling the teeth with water.

ultrasonic-scaling

Courtesy of Escalade Dental Team

2. Dental Sealants (Advances of Modern Dentistry)

Dental sealants represent one of the greatest, but least known advances, of modern dentistry.

sealing

Courtesy of Escalade Dental Team

What is a dental sealant?

A dental sealant is a plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth which are rough and contoured with pit and grooves. Properly cleaning in this area can be more difficult that a toothbrush cannot fit into the narrow spaces to remove plaque. Dental sealants prevent dental decay in the grooves.

When to get dental sealants?

Decay starts early in life,so dental sealants are generally placed on your teeth at young age. If a tooth already has a filling, then it does not get a dental sealant. Although dental sealants are usually applied early in life, adults at high risk of developing decay can also benefit from receiving them. Consult with your dentist to detemine dental sealants are right for your kids’ teeth, or even for you. The sooner these chewing surfaces can be sealed, the better.

When Should Dental Sealants Be Placed on Teeth?

The back teeth are usually treated, especially the molars. Sealants are applied to teeth with naturally deep grooves and edges, to protect the tooth and teeth with these shapes are more likely to collect bacteria and food traces, causing tooth decay.

How are sealants applied?

The tooth that is to be treated will be cleaned and rinsed properly before any treatment starts. The tooth will be dried thoroughly after washing it. A special solution is applied to the tooth, to make the tooth surface rough, after which the liquid plastic, making up the sealant is applied to the tooth. After a short hardening time with special light,the sealant is polished to get a smooth & shiny surfaces.

Do Dental Sealants Last for a Long Period?

Dental sealants can last for up to ten years, 2 to 4 years is a more reasonable estimate. Sealants should be checked by a dentist during regular check ups and if needed they can be re-applied. Some times sealants will need extra adding of plastic, if the layer on the tooth has worn down or if a sealant is chipped/comes off, the sealant can easily be replaced or repaired.

Why are they important?

Sealants can provide 100% protection from dental decay or "cavities" on the chewing surface. Research has shown that when placed over very minimal dental decay, the decay will no longer progress.

Are they safe?

Sealants are simple, painless, and sometimes require no drilling.

Why aren't sealants used on all teeth?

The liquid plastic is designed to flow into and fill the pits and grooves of the teeth. The plastic does not work on the smooth surfaces of the teeth, like the fronts and backs and sides of the teeth.

How much do they cost?

Treatment is cost effective because sealing a tooth costs less than filling one. As a parent, check with your dentist about specific costs.

What else can parents do to prevent cavities?

Encourage your child to brush and floss every day. Use fluoride toothpaste. Take your child to the dentist for regular check-ups and fluoridation. Give your child healthy foods and avoid candy and foods with lots of sugar.

3. Topical fluoridation is a preventive agent applied to tooth enamel

Topical fluoridation is a preventive agent applied to tooth enamel. It comes in a number of different forms. A dental professional places gels or foams in trays that are held against the teeth for up to four minutes. Fluoride varnish is brushed or "painted" on the enamel. Varnish is especially useful for young patients and those with special needs who may not tolerate fluoride trays. Children who benefit the most from fluoride are those at highest risk for decay. Risk factors include a history of previous cavities, a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates, orthodontic appliances, and certain medical conditions such as dry mouth.

 

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