Idaho Falls Dentist

According to the World Health Organization 60-­90% of school children, and nearly 100% of

adults have dental cavities. While many understand cavities are caused by poor dental hygiene,

a sugary diet, or not visiting the dentist, some do not realize grooves in teeth take a toll as well.

Food, plaque and bacteria gets stuck in the grooves or pits of the teeth, which can be difficult to

reach with the bristles of a toothbrush. One solution to prevent cavities from forming within the

grooves of teeth is dental sealants. Children and teenagers between the ages of 6-­ 14 should

especially be considered for dental sealants, as these are the prime years they are most likely

to be at risk of cavities.

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a simple procedure, used to fill in the gaps and cover the top of the tooth.

Dr. Thuernagle performs dental sealants by placing a composite material over the tooth to cover

the gap and provide an extra protective layer. A special type of light is then used to harden the

composite material over the tooth. This procedure is simple, does not take long to perform, and

prevents food, bacteria and plaque from settling in the gap and causing greater damage.

How are Sealants Different Than Fillings?

Fillings are restorative, while sealants are preventative. When tooth decay eats away the tooth

to form a cavity, a filling is needed to fill and restore the tooth. Sealants prevent cavities on the

surface of the tooth by preventing tooth decay in the first place. A common misconception about

sealants is they prevent all cavities in the mouth. A sealant does not protect the side of a tooth

where a cavity may form, because sealants cannot be put on a flat surface. Proper oral hygiene

and care is still needed with dental sealants, and is not an excuse to skip brushing and flossing.

How Do Sealants Effect My Bite?

Dental sealants should fit nicely over the tooth and should not even be noticeable. If your

sealant is uncomfortable, Dr. Thuernagle can smoothe over the top so you do not notice it when

you bite down. If you begin to feel discomfort or pain in your mouth from a sealant, schedule an

appointment with Dr. Thuernagle immediately. Legacy Dental will make sure your sealant feels

comfortable when you bite. Sealants are a simple procedure and can be adjusted for your

overall comfort.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants can last about five years or more, but it depends on the person and circumstances.

Chewing and biting down over the years can wear out, or chip, your dental sealants. Sealants

are ineffective if food, fluids, bacteria or plaque can slip underneath. Patients should schedule

an appointment every six months to make sure the sealants hold up.

Why Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a common dental routine. Dr. Thuernagle highly recommends dental

sealants, especially for youth, because it can prevent tooth decay and cavities. Opting for dental

sealants can also save you money in the long term by forgoing the need for fillings, crowns or

root canals. Add an extra layer of protection for your teeth by asking Dr. Thuernagle about

sealants. For more information about dental sealants, or to schedule a routine appointment to

check up on your dental sealants, give Legacy Dental a call at 208­-932-­1159.​