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LASER “SEALANTS” VS CONVENTIONAL SEALANTS

By: Dr. Jacques Doueck



About 15 years ago I stopped applying traditional sealants to my patients’ teeth. A mother came into my office with what I thought was an unusual request. She had recently had sealants placed on three of her children’s teeth. She asked me to remove all of the sealants! I was confused. Why would anyone want to remove the best way to avoid cavities known to modern dentistry? It would take me three years to find out that this concerned mother was ahead of her time...

The #1 most promoted preventive dentistry procedure in dentistry is to apply dental sealants to the teeth. When a back molar first comes in, the grooves on the biting surface are the most susceptible area in the mouth to get cavities. Sealants which coat the teeth are similar to polyurethane, which works to seal and protect your wood floors. The concept makes a lot of sense. Flow a plastic coating on the biting surface to seal these grooves and make it impossible, or at least much less likely, to get cavities.

The 10­year Study

A well-publicized study done by an independent research group confirmed a 92% failure rate for conventional sealants at a 10-year follow-up. Is it possible that the teeth that would have never gotten cavities developed cavities simplybecause a sealant was placed over a stained groove?

Possibly this procedure allowed bacteria to work its way under the sealant and eat away at the otherwise healthy tooth.

Why Laser Sealants Are Effective

Laser Sealants clean out the grooves completely. Traditional dental sealants often omit the step that cleans out the grooves. Debris (plaque, food, early decay, etc.) left in the groove will prevent proper bonding of the sealant, causing early failure. Cleaning the grooves with the laser prevents this.First, the LightWalker dental laser is used to clean any plaque and bacteria out of the grooves on the chewing surface of a molar or premolar (the back teeth). These grooves are often not completely closed, and allow cavity forming bacteria to get inside the tooth where your toothbrush cannot reach, causing cavities.

A Real Strong Filling That Lasts And Lasts

After the grooves are clean, we bond a very strong filling into the grooves – not a weak thin coating. This strong filling material seals the grooves and prevents decay causing bacteria from entering the tooth… and it’s strong enough to last!

Works For Kids And Adults

Children, because they have newly erupted permanent teeth, receive the greatest benefit from Laser sealants. The chewing surfaces ofa child’s teeth are most susceptible to cavities. Surveys show that the majority of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because food particles and bacteria cannot be cleaned out.

Adults also can benefit from Laser sealants. Many adults have existing pits and grooves susceptible to decay. Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95-percent chance of eventually getting cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth.