There are many
reasons for undertaking dental procedures. It could be for dental
maintenance, disease treatment, tooth extraction or restoration
or even for cosmetic reasons. However, the most common aim is to
improve dental health, and occasionally for aesthetic improvement.
procedures may be categorized as the protective/preventive, restorative,
and cosmetic/aesthetic dentistry.
This section of the web site looks at prtective measures for teeth available
A mouth guard is a resilient device placed inside the mouth.
It protects from dental injuries, which are commonly sports-related
(e.g. boxing, American football, ice hockey, wrestling, and the
like). A properly fitted mouth guard can help prevent broken
teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.
The physical properties required in mouth guards are shock-absorbing
capability, hardness, stiffness, tears strength, tensile strength
and water absorption. An effective mouth guard has all these
physical properties and is comfortable and easy to clean. It
also should not restrict breathing or speech. Modern mouth guards
are made from polyurethane and silicon, among others, as this
proves superior to the earlier rubber-made mouth guards.
Dental sealant is a plastic resin that a dentist bonds into
the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth with pits and fissures – usually
the molars and premolars-- to help prevent the formation of cavities
or “tooth decay”.
Sealants are of many types and classified according to the material
used, the method of polymerization and whether or not they contain
fluoride. Sealants must be retained in the affected area in order
for it to be an effective barrier, protecting enamel from plaque
First and the second molars are the main candidates for sealant
placement. Patients with a history of dental caries in any tooth
are considered high risk and so sealant may be used on them as
well. Only teeth with the highest risk are normally given this
treatment since sealants are costly.
Fluorides have been used for many years to help prevent dental
decay. Applications of fluoride varnish are a well-established,
safe and effective way to reduce caries in decayed or filled
surfaces, in smooth surface caries. They are not effective in
reducing occlusional caries and should not be used as substitute
for fluoridated water or toothpaste. They, however, provide an
added benefit for children who are at high risk for dental decay.
The main advantage of fluoride varnish is its ability to adhere
strongly to the tooth surface, allowing better uptake of fluoride
into the enamel.
Fluoride varnishes are painted directly onto teeth and are intended
to remain in close contact with enamel for several hours. This
treatment is primarily meant for patients with smooth surface
caries and for those who are at high risk of developing dental
caries. These include insufficient sources of dietary fluoride,
high carbohydrate diets, caretakers who transmit decay-causing
bacteria to their children via their saliva, areas of tooth decalcification,
reduced salivary flow and poor oral hygiene.