Saving Money At The Dentist - Part 2 - Sealants
In Part 1 of this 3 Part series I talked about the first of my 3 very simple, very affordable tips on how to save money at the dentist: fluoride. It’s a no brainer: cheap AND painless AND tastes good nowadays. Fluoride will help decrease the risk of getting a cavity by 75%.
Today I’m going to talk about the second of my 3 tips on how to save money at the dentist: sealant.
Sealants are great, and a lot of times just recommended for kids. One of the things I try to educate our patients on, however, is that sealants are great for adults as well. Every tooth in the back of your mouth has a 95% chance of catching a cavity in your lifetime. 95%, so it might as well be 100%. That statistic just blew my mind. You might as well say every tooth in my head has a 100% chance of getting a cavity in my lifetime. I’ve seen a lot of 20-30 year olds without cavities, but I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen a 60 year old who’s never had a cavity in their life.
What a dental sealant does, is it helps prevent cavities in the back of the teeth by up to about 70%. So you’re going from a 100% chance of - hey you’re going to catch a cavity in this tooth - down to a 30% chance.
I can tell you that all of my teeth are sealed. I don’t have time to get a cavity. I don’t want to have to get it taken care of. I would rather prevent it with a dental sealant than have to than have a drill to my tooth any day of the week. Grab a mirror and look at back of your back teeth. They’ve got some grooves to them. They’re kind of groovy. As long as they’ve never had a filling or a crown, they’re going to be groovy.
So think of it kind of like a crack in a sidewalk. What’s going to happen in a crack in the sidewalk? It’s going to catch dirt. It could catch a dandelion seed, which could turn into a dandelion. Same kind of a thing, so your tooth has got natural cracks and grooves in it. So those cracks can catch food, they can catch sugar, they can catch bacteria, and they can catch a cavity.
With a sealant, what we do is we take and we paint over those grooves and we make it nice and smooth. Smooth like glass. So instead of stuff getting stuck in there and just kind of hanging out because it’s hard to clean out, we make it super cleanable and it prevents those cavities.
Again, by up to 70%. Total no-brainer.
Your kids, if you have kids who have permanent 6 year and 12 year molars, they probably have a sealant on it, because that’s what we do, we seal those teeth because we want you to have those teeth forever and ever amen. Again, help us to prevent that cavity by getting a sealant on your tooth. Those are super affordable too. Sometimes even insurance will help pick those up, and so I mean, again, no-brainer. Totally worth it to prevent that cavity.
With the amount of medications that Americans are taking on a daily basis, did you know that most medications, prescriptions, cause dry mouth?
That’s a huge deal to your dental health, because what happens is whenever your mouth is super dry, your chances of catching a cavity goes way, way up. Your body has natural defenses against cavities, and that’s found in the saliva. So if you’re not making as much saliva, your body’s natural defenses are down. What happens is you catch a cavity easier, and that’s dangerous because if you have a dry mouth, that cavity can turn from something really small to something really big in less than six months. Which can mean the difference between $100 here and $1,000 here.
By using fluoride and sealants, you’re going to help prevent bigger problems in the future. Yeah, it’s a little bit of a cost, like I said fluoride’s $20-40 every six months. But if that can prevent one cavity, that’s—we’ll just say $150, and that’s a huge percentage savings to you. I never have to take a drill to your tooth to do fluoride, or to do sealant. Hello! Everybody hates the ‘eeee’ noise, and I can’t hear it anymore because I hear it every day, I can’t even hear it. But I know that people have a lot of dental anxiety, so why not prevent these things?
Let’s be proactive instead of reactive.