Your back teeth naturally contain pits and grooves which can trap food, often leading to the promotion of decay. Once decay has set in, treatment and fillings are required to protect the tooth, root and gums. However, by applying dental sealants before any problems occur, there is no need to fill the tooth. Fluoride is another dental treatment for preventing decay, as it protects the enamel and keeps your teeth strong and healthy.
When cavities form in your teeth, food and bacteria are able to get into the damaged area; affecting the tooth, root and gums. Dr. Oliver can assess you for the risk of cavities and treat your teeth with dental sealants to restore the integrity of your teeth. This treatment is usually applied during childhood when the adult teeth have come through.
There are two main types of dental sealant: Resin based and glass ionomer sealants. Dr. Oliver will carry out a thorough exam, before deciding which method of sealant will suit you best. Some sealants also contain and release fluoride, which provides further protection and can even continue to protect the tooth if the sealant has deteriorated.
Fluoride treatment is used to help repair and strengthen tooth enamel. The mineral in fluoride (fluorapatite), acts much in the same way as the natural mineral in human teeth (hydroxyapatite), by preventing damage due to lactic acid producing bacteria. You are most likely already using fluoride treatments in your toothpaste, mouthwash and other dental hygiene products. These are known as topical fluoride treatments. There is also a degree of overlap when it comes to fluoride treatment options, which Dr. Oliver will discuss in full with you during your exam.
For patients who Dr. Oliver feels are at higher risk of tooth decay, he will carry out an exam of the teeth and may decide on a more advanced course of action. Gels and foam treatments take minutes and deliver fluoride to the teeth directly. Many gels and foams, however, are applied via a mouth tray which may not suit every patient. A less intrusive method of fluoride treatment is the use of a varnish treatment, which the patient can apply at home with a brush. Another option is a slow-release application of fluoride, via an implant on one of the molars.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and be on your way to optimal oral health. We are looking forward to seeing you.