Dental Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when the child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the tooth has erupted, before they have a chance to decay.
Sealants are a dental treatment consisting of applying a plastic material to one or more teeth, for the purpose of preventing dental carries ( cavities) or other forms of tooth decay.
Because the teeth in the back of the mouth (molars and premolars) have numerous pits and fissures on their biting surfaces, certain areas of these teeth are often difficult to clean even with vigorous tooth brushing. To remedy this, research into dental sealants began in the 1960's, and by the 1970's the first generation of sealants became available and were approved by the FDA.
Sealants painted over pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of back teeth block food from being trapped and any carbohydrates like sugar being changed to acid by resident plaque bacteria and halts demineralization and the carries process.
A toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abcessed tooth. Other symptoms may include fever, pain when chewing, sensitivity of the teeth to cold or hot, bitter taste in the mouth, foul smell to the breath, swollen neck glands, general discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling, redness and swelling of the gums, swollen area of the upper or lower jaw, an open, draining sore on the side of the gum.
In some studies, researchers have observed that people with gum disease were more likely to develop heart disease or have difficulty controlling blood sugar. Other studies showed that women with gum disease were more likely to deliver pre-term, low birth weight babies. There may be other reasons people with gum disease sometimes develop additional health problems.
Patients can become entirely edentulous ( without teeth) for many reasons. The most prevalent being removal because of dental disease typically relating to oral flora control, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. Other reasons include tooth developmental defects caused by severe malnutrition, genetic defects such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, trauma, or drug use.
Dr. James L. Johnson