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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
                                                             
      Call: 308-436-3491       www.dentalgentlecare.com           

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SEALANTS FOR ADULTS

A dental sealant is a safe plastic like material that is painted on to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars) and acts like a physical barrier to help "seal out" germs and food that cause tooth decay and destroy tooth structure. 

Reasons for adult sealants:

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Teeth that exhibit deep grooves and fissures will have a higher risk for cavities.  These are ideal teeth to place sealants to prevent this from occurring.

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To prevent loss of tooth structure.  Tooth structure is lost every time a tooth is filled or a filling is replaced, which occurs every 6-8 years. 

As long as the sealant remains intact, food particles and bacteria cannot penetrate through a sealant to cause decay.

Sealants are 100% effective in reducing tooth decay as long as the sealants remain intact and will last for 15 years or longer. 

 Sealants are a painless, effective, safe, easy to apply, long-lasting and cost effective treatment

Adults can benefit from sealants due to the fact that it is has been proved that 95% of all people will eventually have a cavity/cavities in the pits and/or grooves of their teeth.

Shows deep grooves that are normally found in molars that act as a food trap. Two-thirds of all cavities occur in these narrow pits and grooves of newly erupted teeth.

Shows sealant on tooth to protect the tooth surface from decay

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The Benefits of having sealants applied to our teeth:

  1. Molars (back teeth) have deeper grooves and more than 85 % to 90% of tooth decay begins here.  These natural valleys make it harder to clean by brushing.  The enamel in these areas can also be thinner making them easier to destroy by germs to cause cavities.
  2. Back teeth are the main chewing surfaces and so have the greatest exposure to foods and their residue
  3. Molars do not have the advantage of salivary flow over them to help naturally clean them so plaque remains on their surfaces
  4. Toothbrush bristles bend and are too large to fit into these grooves  As you can see a single toothbrush bristle is too large to reach inside the fissure.
  5. These teeth are meant to last a lifetime and the natural tooth structure is much stronger than any filling material
  6. The bacteria in these grooves shed into the saliva exposing all of the other teeth to bacteria and possible decay
  7. Sealants cannot only prevent cavities but can also arrest the progress of decay.
  8. Cost effective. Sealants cost less than half of what one filling cost! Sealants fee: $25-$35.00.00/tooth; Filling fee: $60-$150/tooth; Root canals $400-$700.  So putting sealants on now will save you money in the long run by avoiding fillings or crowns used to fix decayed teeth.
  9. Fluoride is effective on smooth tooth surface not the grooves of the teeth
  10. Healthy teeth can last a lifetime!

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This procedure is done by:

  1. First preparing the tooth by cleaning the tooth's surface.  
  2. This "etching" material is placed for 10-15 sec. and than thoroughly rinsed off with water.  This etching solution kills any bacteria and makes the surface slightly rough to help the sealant adhere better.  
  3. The chewing surface is than dried, it is important to keep your tongue away from this area to keep the site as dry as possible.
  4. The sealant material is applied and harden with a curing light. Protective glasses are used to keep your eyes safe from the light.  When the sealant is applied, finger-like strands penetrate the pits and fissures of the tooth enamel to cover them.
  5. The sealant is carefully checked so you can eat normally.

Risk Factors for Sealants

Adults Risk Factors
Low Risk No new or incipient caries 
No more than one recurrent lesion during the past three years
Good oral hygiene
Regular dental visits
   
Moderate Risk One new, incipient or recurrent caries in the past year
History of numerous or severe caries
Deep pits and fissure
Frequent sugar exposure
Decreased salivary flow
Compromised oral hygiene
Irregular dental visits
Inadequate fluoride exposure
Exposed root surfaces
Fair oral hygiene
   
High Risk Three or more new or recurrent carious lesions in past three years
History of numerous or severe caries
Deep pits and fissure
Frequent sugar exposures
Decreased salivary flow
Irregular dental visits
Inadequate fluoride exposure
Compromised oral hygiene#

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Sealants need to be checked to make sure the seal is not chipped or broken at your 6 month recall appointment.  A broken seal will allow decay to develop in the grooves.  We guarantee the repair or replacement as needed for your sealants if you come in every 6 months for your recare appointment.

Updates

Dental Sealant Longevity in a Cohort of Young U.S. Naval Personnel

The U.S. Navy emphasizes caries prevention and encourages the placement of dental sealants on the caries-susceptible teeth ofpatients at risk of developing caries. Subjects who were at moderate or high risk of developing caries demonstrated significantly higher sealant failure rates than those atlow risk of developing caries.

Dental sealants can be retained successfully in adults. They should be considered a viable treatment alternativefor adult patients who are susceptible to caries; however, patients at elevated risk of developing caries may require more frequent re- evaluation and maintenance to achieve maximum benefit.

Dental Sealant Longevity in a Cohort of Young U.S. Naval Personnel John W. Simecek[1], Kim E. Diefenderfer[2], Reneé L. Ahlf[3], James C. Ragain Jr.[4] JADA 2005; 136:171-178.
 

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Dental Sealant Longevity in a Cohort of Young U.S. Naval Personnel
Conclusions. After an average of 35 months, 87.8 percent of thesealants placed in this population were retained and functional. Subjects who were at moderate or high risk of developing caries demonstrated significantly higher sealant failure rates than those at low risk of developing caries.
Clinical Implications. Dental sealants can be retained successfully in adults. They should be considered a viable treatment alternativefor adult patients who are susceptible to caries; however, patients at elevated risk of developing caries may require more frequent re-evaluation and maintenance to achieve maximum benefit.

John W. Simecek[1], Kim E. Diefenderfer[2], Reneé L. Ahlf[3], JamesC. Ragain Jr.[4] JADA 2005; 136:171-178.

February 06, 2008

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          If you have any questions please e-mail me at: drdpeterson@scottsbluff.net
                                                                                 308-436-3491 Office number

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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