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A sealant is a flowable resin material which is bonded to the tooth structure to seal the pits and fissures which naturally occur on the biting surface of the tooth. These pits and fissures can become so constricted and narrow that a single toothbrush bristle cannot reach the bottom of the anatomy, unlike bacteria which have no difficulty seeking out even the furthest reaches of the narrowest tooth anatomy. Sealants keep bacteria from penetrating into the tooth and are equally effective in both children and adults at risk for caries, or “cavities.” There is no “drilling” or “numbing” necessary to place a sealant. At 58 Dental, we are focused on preventative dentistry. Nothing is better than your original teeth and sealants are an excellent way to protect your natural dentition.
At 58 Dental, we firmly adhere to the minimally invasive mantra, “nothing is better than your natural tooth.” A Preventative Resin Restoration, or PRR, is a minimally invasive procedure used to determine the extent of caries progression, or “decay”, within a tooth or to remove a minor amount of decay prior to sealant placement in a moderate to high caries risk patient. Dental micro-burs are used to conserve tooth structure. A sealant is then bonded to the minimally prepared tooth structure to protect the tooth. When indicated the PRR is a very conservative option compared to the traditional dental “filling.”
A patient’s diet may strongly affect their caries risk, or their ability to form “cavities.” Many people are unaware that their diet may have such far-reaching effects. The bacteria that cause “cavities” live off of the sugars in a patient’s diet. The bacteria eat these sugars and their byproduct, literally their feces, is acid. This acid eats into the teeth, the bacteria penetrate the tooth, and a carious lesion or “cavity” forms. Frequent sugar intake enhances the destructive properties of the oral bacteria. Patients with high caries risk usually will benefit from dietary modifications. Frequent consumption of soda/pop, energy drinks, coffee with sugar, sweetened tea, sports drinks, juices, chewing gum, and candies increase the acid produced by the bacteria and increase the overall acidity of the oral cavity. Identification of patient specific sugar consumption, frequency, and duration are key steps in reducing a patient’s caries risk and guiding them towards health.
Oral hygiene is critical for both the health of the teeth as well as the foundation of the teeth, the surrounding soft tissue and bone. Commonly, there are patient specific areas of the mouth where oral hygiene is less than optimal. Common areas are the tongue side of the lower front teeth, the back sides of the most posterior teeth, or the right or left side of a patient’s mouth depending on whether they are right or left hand dominant. Also, instructions specific for the type of oral hygiene instruments used for home care are also relevant. To aid in oral hygiene instruction, plaque-disclosing tablets are sometimes used as a visual indicator to highlight areas in need of improvement. At 58 Dental, we focus on preventative care and that is why oral hygiene counseling is a primary focus in guiding a patient towards health.
58 Dental is able to perform excisional or incisional biopsies from multiple areas of the oral cavity. The biopsy is performed in order to confirm or deny the presence of pathology. These tissue samples are handled with exquisite care, stored in a formalin solution, and sent to the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine’s Pathology Department for examination.