Sealants and Preventative
Sealants help prevent cavities by creating a protective barrier on the biting surface of back teeth. The biting surface of molars have deep pits, fissures, crevices and grooves that act as natural plaque traps. Toothbrush bristles fail to fully clean these areas. Sealants provide a tooth-colored barrier that coats these grooves and effectively blocks plaque and bacteria. They are most often placed on permanent molars soon after they erupt, although they may be applied at any age on teeth with deep grooves that are susceptible to decay.
In-office fluoride treatments can be an effective way to reduce the risk of decay and alleviate tooth sensitivity. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it more resistant to cavity-causing bacteria and reducing pain from cold food and drink, air, and sweets. Fluoride gel is frequently applied to the teeth of patients under the age of twenty, when decay is most prevalent, but patients of any age may reap the benefits of fluoride treatment, especially if they are at high risk for decay or suffer from excessive sensitivity.
When a child prematurely loses a baby tooth, a space maintainer is sometimes required to maintain proper spacing until the adult tooth erupts. Although it is always best to retain baby teeth until they fall out naturally, it may occasionally become necessary to extract one that is causing pain or infection. If the underlying adult tooth is not ready to emerge, a space maintainer, properly placed, prevents neighboring teeth from collapsing into the space – a situation that can compromise future dental health and affect physical appearance.