Gastric Disorders - Causes and Treatments
Gastritis is the most common digestive disorder, which causes chronic stomach inflammation and in extreme cases may even lead to stomach ulcer. If you are frequently suffering from this avoidable agony, it's better to take it seriously to shun worsening of case.

Dental Sealants

What are dental sealants?

Only about twenty five percent of the population is aware of what dental sealants are? Dental sealants otherwise also known as tooth sealants are a thin coat of resin that is applied on the surface of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. These sealants are generally applied on the surface of the molars or the back teeth. The coating is a uniform coating of resin that small grooves and pits on the surface of the teeth are covered by this. This prevents the food particles from getting trapped in these pits and prevents tooth decay.

The sealants are available at a dentists place or at the local health care center. Most often schools arrange for a dental sealant application program where all the children are given an option for application of dental sealant. The advantages of the dental sealants are briefed to them and the process is explained to them. The sealant application is a painless process and takes up the least time. Sealants are put on in dentists’ offices, clinics, and sometimes in schools. The sealants are painted on the surface of the teeth that requires a cover and it quickly hardens in your mouth.

How are sealants put on?

Application of the sealant is a simple and painless process. It requires the teeth to be cleaned and dried. This is done with the help of cotton swabs. Once the teeth are dried, a solution is applied to prepare the teeth to accept the resin. This solution rather makes the surface of the teeth a bit rough. This process is called tooth preparation. Rough surfaces provide an easy adhesive surface to the teeth for application of the resin.

After preparation of the teeth, fresh cotton swabs are put around the teeth so that the teeth remain dry. When the dentist is absolutely sure that the teeth are dry he applies the resin over the surface of the teeth. The resin hardens in a few seconds. Now the sealant is in place. The dentist now removes the cotton swabs that have been placed around the teeth.

Why get sealants?

Sealants are required to avoid tooth decay. Imagine this as a cap that is put over the tooth to prevent wear and decay. The teeth that grow in your mouth after the baby tooth are one-time thing. You loose it or you get it pulled out, you are not likely to get a natural replacement.

The best way to avoid tooth decay is, do not let the sugars present in the food to come in contact with teeth. So what better way than to give them a covering? This is achieved with the help of dental sealants.

Protection to the teeth is provided by the fluoride present in the tooth pastes or fluoride present in the drinking water. The fluoride provides the extra protection that is required to the back teeth. This is the teeth where the tooth brush generally does not reach.

The sealant applied keeps out the germs and the food particles that are likely to get lodged into the grooves.

Sealant application not only saves the teeth, but also saves time and money that is going to be invested in the replacement of decayed teeth and crown repairs.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decays due to the acids in the mouth. The acids are produced as a result of the disintegration of the sugars which are contained in the food substances that we eat. These acids over time cause cavities. So it is quite necessary to clear the left over food particles that are present in the mouth. This can be done only be brushing them off. But then, there are some places like crevices that are quite un-reachable to the brush. This can be only done by preventing the food particles from resting on the surface of the teeth.

This is where tooth sealants come in. Tooth sealants form a layer between the food particles and the teeth. So now, there is no direct contact between the teeth and the food particles. This keeps your teeth healthy and avoids tooth decay.

Why do back teeth decay so easily?

The back teeth are the most uneven teeth with grooves and crevices like the craters on the face of the moon. So what ever amount of brushing that you do, you will not be able to remove the food particles that are lodged into the crevices there. These food particles that are stuck there start decaying and results in cavities.

The back surface of the back teeth is quite un-reachable by even the best of the brushes; one can either depend on the fluoride that is present in the tooth paste or the fluoride that is present in the drinking water to keep the decay out. Left with the only other alternative is providing the teeth with dental sealants.

Who should get sealants?

Children and young adults are the ones that are more prone to tooth decay. This is because of their food habits and the presence of taste enhancers in the food that they eat.

The best way to protect the teeth is to seal the molars as soon as they come in. This should be done before the decay originally starts.

The recommended age for application of tooth sealants are between the ages of five and seven (that is when the first permanent molars develop) and between the age of eleven and fourteen (the age when the second set of permanent molars come).

If the dentist considers that there is other tooth that requires sealing then he should do it.

Should sealants be put on baby teeth?

If your child is consuming more sugars in her / his diet it would be a good idea to protect the baby teeth too. Baby teeth also have a number of grooves and pits that are quite necessary to be sealed and if not sealed will result in tooth decay. Baby teeth should be protected so that they don’t fall out early and result in strutted growth of permanent teeth.

Does insurance pay for sealants?

Most insurance companies pay for tooth sealants, it being a protective measure. Before you take up insurance on teeth, talk with your insurance agent as to if cover is provided for teeth sealant application. It is more beneficial for the insurance company to provide for sealant application than to provide for root canal treatment.

How long do sealants last?

Tooth sealants can last for a very long time. Most of them last as long as ten years. However it is necessary to get regular checkups done at intervals to determine if the tooth sealant is in place and has not broken from the surface of the tooth. If a break is found then the sealants can be repaired by putting additional sealants at the place of breakage.

What if a small cavity is accidentally covered by a sealant?

It is necessary to clean the surface of the teeth quite well before application of the tooth sealant. However, small decays or a cavity will not cause much harm as the decay is sealed in and will prevent further food particles from entering the cavity.

Are sealants new?

Dental sealants have been around since the early 1960’s. But the knowledge of dental sealants is not wide spread. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and others associated dental organizations jointly developed the sealant and they have proved that it is quite safe and an effective tool against tooth decay.

Steps have been taken to ensure that this program is effectively implemented in the schools across the United States.

Besides sealants, are there other ways to prevent tooth decay?

Tooth sealants are the most effective way to prevent tooth decay. The next most efficient agent is fluoride. Fluoride is present in the tooth paste that we use. It is also present in the drinking water that we consume. This helps in avoiding tooth decay.

If the fluoride that is present in the tooth paste and water is not sufficient to help you prevent tooth decay, your dentist will prescribe you fluoride in the form of fluoride pills or a mouth rinse. Fluoride has the ability to resist tooth decay, repair tiny cavities and kill the germs in the mouth that causes tooth decay.

How can I get dental sealants for my children?

Dental sealants are available at your local dentist or your state health department will be able to help you contact a dentist who will do the sealant application for your children. Most schools are covered by the sealant application program.