Tooth Decay is Stopped When Dental Sealants are Used

Cosmetic Dentistry starts with healthy teeth. The reduction of tooth decay with modern Dental Sealants leads to more beautiful smiles and natural looking teeth. Dental Sealants allowed two young patients, Kai and India, on July 25, 2006, to say, Look, mom, no cavities after nine years, after a routine dental exam by Dr Cynthia Pauley! On June 3, 1997, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a front-page feature article on Dental Sealants and Brookside Dental. The article pictured young Kai and India in the child Teddy Bear Room at Brookside Dental receiving their initial dental sealants. Preventive dentistry remains a remarkable success story in dental health and the use of dental sealants on children?s teeth has helped spearhead this amazing progress in the fight against tooth decay. Dental Sealants have definitely taken a huge bite out of tooth decay and contribute to nice healthy looking teeth.

You might have thought getting cavities was a fact of life, but thanks to fluoride, sealants and better dental habits, well over 55 percent of school-age children now have no cavities. This advance in the health of our teeth is as much marketing as medicine. We can credit successful communication campaigns and sound public policy – along with science – for the quantum leap improvement in our public health and in particular the drop in dental cavities. The percentage of school-aged children without cavities in their permanent teeth has decreased dramatically, according to findings by the National Institute of Dental Research. In the early 1970s, schoolchildren had, on average, seven cavities. Twenty years later, the average had fallen to 2.5, researchers reported. The use of Dental Sealants was largely responsible for this dramatic drop along with fluoride treatments. Because of these advances, dentists predict that as far as teeth go, the baby boomers – those people born before 1965 – will be the last generation to have a mouthful cavities that need fillings, crowns and bridges.

To understand the breadth of the achievement, consider the teeth worked on by Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist Patricia Pauley who immediately after graduating from dental school in 1978 put into practice the new dental technique of applying plastic sealants to the chewing surfaces of children?s back teeth. The plastic resin bonds into depressions and grooves, providing a barrier that seals out plaque and food where toothbrush bristles often can’t reach. Applying the sealant to young children’s teeth before they have cavities virtually prevents any possibility of decay in those teeth. Approximately, 99 percent of the child patients receiving dental sealants at Brookside Dental are still cavity-free after 20 years. So it is not surprising that Kai and India Richter had cavity-free mouths 9 years after the application of dental sealants to their teeth. The children of the baby boomers will not have many fillings if they have had the two-pronged treatment for decay prevention consisting of dental sealants and fluoride.

Even though significant progress is being made in the fight against tooth decay, much work remains to be done. Improved tooth care is not universal. Even though sealants are considered virtually decay-proof, large numbers of school-aged children still do not have sealants on any of their permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental Research. Racial minorities, immigrants, and the poor are the least likely to have dental sealants available to them. Seeking to bridge this gap, teams of public-health workers, usually a dentist and three or four dental assistants – set up mobile dental labs in metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Washington, to provide dental sealants to students that are predominantly from low-income families. Dental sealants are one of the first steps toward healthy teeth, beautiful smiles, and increased self-esteem. Additional good news is that Dental Sealants are painless to apply, easily and rapidly applied, and have no harmful side effects. Dental Sealants also are relatively inexpensive, when compared to the cost of a filling or a crown. “Cutting Down on Cavities” is a review of dental sealants used on childern at Brookside Dental for approximately 25 years.