IV Sedation Dentistry

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

IV Sedation Dentistry

It is very common that people are nervous at the dentist office.  While we do everything we can to make your appointments run quickly and smoothly, sometimes people need a little extra help.  We offer several different options to make your appointments easier.  If applicable, you can be prescribed a medication to help calm your nerves.  You can be given Nitrous Oxide, also know as laughing gas.  And finally, IV conscious sedation.  All of our Signature Dental Offices offer IV sedation dentistry.

What is IV Sedation?

IV stands for intravenous. Medication is administered through the veins and because of its rapid effects, many patients prefer this option.

How does IV Sedation work?

IV sedation medication is delivered through a very small needle placed in either the top of your hand or within your inner elbow.

Some people have a fear of needles, that is not uncommon.  Due to that, some patients are not able to tolerate IV sedation. However, most people describe the sensation as a small pinch or prick. Also, dentists can further reduce the feeling by giving you an oral sedative beforehand and/or applying a topical anesthetic where the needle will be placed.

What are the benefits to IV sedation?

Just like other forms of sedation dentistry, IV sedation is designed to relax you and make you completely comfortable. IV sedation also eliminates your anxiety and pain. Although you may lie back in the dental chair with your eyes closed, you will not be asleep during your appointment and will still be able to respond to verbal cues from your dentist. Because you are completely relaxed, your dentist can accomplish more high-quality dentistry in less time. IV sedation can benefit you if you have a sensitive gag reflex or difficulty sitting in a dental chair for long periods of time. You’ll be so relaxed that you’ll be unaware of the sights, smells, and sounds of the dental office. Patients remember little-to-nothing of their appointment by the next day.

IV sedation gives your dentist optimal control of the amount of medication administered and allows them to readily increase or decrease your level of sedation as needed, quickly and comfortably.

An additional benefit of IV sedation includes faster onset of the sedation medications, meaning you’ll be able to feel the effects of the medication quickly.

What dental procedures are recommended for IV sedation?

Mainly, people prefer to use it for taking out wisdom teeth and appointments that need to have a lot of treatment accomplished in one sitting.  Those that have high dental anxiety also prefer IV sedation.  However, IV sedation can be an option for any treatment that needs to done!

What is the recovery time after IV sedation?

There is no set amount of recovery time because every patient is different. However, many patients begin to feel more alert soon after the IV medication is stopped. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the end of your appointment. If you experience any nausea after treatment, your dentist can usually provide a prescription to help. Patients are encouraged to sleep and drink plenty of water and clear fluids for the remainder of the day. In regards to recovery from the actual dental work itself, your dentist will give you individualized instructions for aftercare. Many sedation patients report significantly reduced pain levels the day after their treatment. There are multiple theories for why this is, but the common thought is that because a sedation patient is relaxed and not tense during their appointment, the dentist can often use less force as well as access the mouth more easily.

Does Dental Insurance cover IV sedation?

Patients have different insurance plans, so there is no single answer. Generally speaking, most dental insurance plans do cover part or sometimes even all of the cost of IV sedation. It’s best to check with your insurance provider prior to your appointment to confirm your plan’s benefits.

If this is something that interests you, your dentist can review your particular needs and your medical history to see if you are a good candidate.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://evsedation.com

What’s With All The Plastic?

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Arianna Marsden, RDH

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

AriannaM

Arianna Ritchey, RDH

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

As a part of a regular preventive or periodontal maintenance visit with your dental hygienist, the topic of flossing usually comes up.  Most people have at least heard of flossing, and while some people floss regularly, most patients I see report flossing less than the ADA recommended once per day.  More often, people fall into the categories of flossing “once in a while” or “once in a blue moon.”  While some people are embarrassed to admit this to their dental hygienist, the condition and health of your gums reveal a lot about your oral hygiene practices at home without you saying a word.  (We can also read minds…just kidding.)

So, if most people have heard about flossing, and are reminded of it semi-annually by their dental hygienist, what is preventing them from actually cleaning between their teeth on a regular basis?

Maybe they don’t realize the impact that flossing has on the health of their gums and prevention of early tooth loss.  Maybe it’s difficult for them to manipulate string floss (it’s harder than it looks).  Maybe they are super busy (who isn’t?) and can’t find time to track down some floss and use it between their teeth.  Maybe they ran out of the sample-size floss their hygienist gave them a their last visit.  Maybe it hurts when they floss because their gums are inflamed, so they avoid the pain.  Maybe they are really committed and diligent for the first while, and then life gets in the way and they fall out of the habit.  All of these are totally understandable reasons, and I’ve been there.  (Hygienists are human, too!)

The good news is, your dental hygienist is interested in helping you to keep your mouth and gums healthy, and offers a judgment-free-zone to learn how to properly perform oral hygiene techniques, like flossing, and to help you come up with some ways to integrate flossing into your daily routine.  (Floss in the shower, floss while watching the intro to your show on Netflix, floss while on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest, floss while at a red light on your commute, etc.)

The other awesome thing your dental hygienist does for you, is giving you a clean slate to work with!  When your dental hygienist cleans your teeth by removing the plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) from your teeth, they are removing the bacteria that are causing the inflammation, pain, and bleeding in your gums.  (Hooray!)  Once these irritations are removed, the gums have a chance to heal, and by properly cleaning your teeth at home (brushing and flossing), you can keep them healthy.  When the gums are healthy, they don’t hurt, they don’t bleed, they are easier to floss, and you have a faster, easier dental hygiene appointments. (Even when your hygienist is gentle, nobody enjoys being in that chair.)

If you’re still reading, check out this video my former classmates and I produced that demonstrates proper flossing technique and briefly explains why flossing is important.  It’s a little cheesy, but definitely educational.  Make sure your sound is on, there’s some great instruction and music.  

After watching this video and practicing at home, if you’re still having difficulty with string floss, try some other interdental cleaners!  Here’s a great article that talks about lots of interdental cleaners and how to use them (scroll about halfway down).  

Remember, the best interdental cleaning tool is the one that you actually use consistently; if string floss just isn’t your thing, talk to your hygienist at your next visit, and we’ll be happy to give you some samples to try.  Happy flossing!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2015/03/22/what-is-a-periodontal-maintenance/

http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/floss-and-other-interdental-cleaners

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2013/10/14/tooth-brushes/

youtube.com/watch

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2014/05/19/flossing-do-i-have-to/

What are those white spots on my teeth?

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Ann Clark, RDH

                                                                                                      What are those white spots on my teeth?

Dental fluorosis is not a disease but a permanent cosmetic condition affecting the way the teeth look.  It occurs when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums.  Once erupted, teeth cannot develop enamel fluorosis.  This condition is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the development stage of the tooth.  After their eruption into the mouth, teeth may appear discolored;  such as: lacy white markings, yellow to brown stains, surface irregularities, or pitting into the enamel.

Causes
A major cause is inappropriate use of fluoride products such as toothpaste and rinses.  Children are offered products with some fun flavors.  They are known to eat and swallow them so remind them to spit out.  Taking a higher than recommended supplement can also cause fluorosis.  The perfect amount is already regulated into the water where it occurs naturally.  Symptoms of fluorosis range from small white specks or streaks to dark brown stains and rough, pitted enamel.  A normal healthy tooth is smooth and glossy and a pale creamy white.

Treatment
Most cases are mild not requiring treatment.  White spots are considered moderate if more than 50% of the surface is affected  and severe if pitting occurs.  The appearance can be improved by various technique options aimed to mask stains.  Such techniques may include:
Teeth Whitening and other procedures to remove the surface staining.  Initially whitening can temporarily worsen the appearance.
Bonding: a coating over the enamel bonded with a hard resin.
Crowns
Veneers: custom-made facings that cover the front of teeth.
MI Paste: a calcium phosphate product sometimes combined with a micro abrasion procedure to minimize discolorations.

Prevention
Parental care is the key to preventing fluorosis.  If you drink well water, which is not regulated, or bottled water,your public health department or local laboratory can analyze the fluoride content.
Fluoride is also in some fruit juices and sodas, so knowing the water content will help you decide whether or not a supplement is needed.  Also, keeping fluoride containing products, like toothpaste, rinses and supplements out of children’s reach is recommended.  Ingesting a large amount of fluoride in a short period of time may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.  Only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is needed for each time you brush.
Encourage your child to spit out and not swallow.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

Sources:

webmd.com Fluorosis:Symptoms, causes, and treatments

American Academy of pediatric Dentistry:”Enamel Fluorosis”
Kidshealth.org: “Fluoride in Water”
Reuters Health:”U.S. Lowers Limits for Fluoride in Water”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research:”The Story of Fuloridation”
SimpleStepsToBetterDentalHealth.com:”Fluorosis”
CDC:”Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004″

Pregnancy and Oral Health

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Being pregnant comes with various responsibilities and it is important that you continue to maintain your normal brushing and flossing routine throughout your pregnancy.

For most women your routine dental visits are safe throughout your pregnancy. Make sure when calling to make your dental appointments you let your dental office know what stage of your pregnancy you are in. Let the office know if you have had any changes in your medications or if you have received any special instructions from your physician.  Depending on your specific situation and your treatment needs, some of your dental appointments and procedures may need to be postponed until after your pregnancy.

Dental x-rays are sometimes necessary if you suffer a dental emergency during your pregnancy, or if they are needed for diagnostic purposes. It may be wise to contact your physician prior to your dental appointment to get their approval to have x-rays done if they are necessary.

During pregnancy some women may develop a temporary condition known as pregnancy gingivitis which is typically caused by hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy. This is a mild form of periodontal disease that can cause the gums to be red, tender and/or sore.  It may be recommended that you be seen for more frequent cleanings to help control the gingivitis. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, please contact your dentist.

During your pregnancy you may have the desire to eat more frequently. When you feel the need to snack try to choose foods that are low in sugar and that are nutritious for you and your baby. Frequent snacking can cause tooth decay. It is also a great idea to incorporate fluoridated mouth rinse into your daily routine. There are several different brands to choose from. Make sure to look for the ADA seal of approval which guarantees safety and effectiveness

If you experience morning sickness anytime throughout your pregnancy you can try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. This mixture lowers the acidity present in your mouth. This acidity can cause erosion of the enamel. Your gag reflex may also become overly sensitive during your pregnancy, so switching to a smaller toothbrush head may be beneficial.

Please remember that the body goes through many changes during pregnancy and maintaining your normal brushing and flossing routine plays an important role in your overall health.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/sealprogramproducts.aspx

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.idph.state.ia.us%2FIDPHChannelsService%2Ffile.ashx%3Ffile%3DA6FAA346-C53D-49A5-AB8D-6198A087A02A&ei=gJO3UsDwH8bbyQG8sYHYAw&usg=AFQjCNFlpM4U5Hwp3J00K0jdNoM5DHzOXw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.aWc

http://www.google.com/imgres?sa=X&hl=en&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS478US479&biw=1600&bih=714&tbm=isch&tbnid=nldgrSnzOgvsAM:&imgrefurl=http://www.myhealthyspeak.co.in/index.php/management-of-pregnancy-gingivitis-3&docid=73o889OPRA5FCM&imgurl=http://

www.myhealthyspeak.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/23.jpg&w=176&h=117&ei=9JO3UvFL6GSyQHXi4DAAg&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:88,s:0,i:375&iact=rc&page=4&tbnh=93&tbnw=137&start=75&ndsp=28&tx=80&ty=49

AZ Mission of Mercy

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

AZ Mission of Mercy

Next month, Decemeber 11th-12th, our offices will be going down to the AZ State Fairgrounds in Phoenix and volunteer again at the 4th Annual AZ Mission of Mercy.

“Since 1994, Mission of Mercy has been providing free healthcare, free dental care, and free prescription medications to the uninsured, under-insured, and those who “fall through the cracks” of our healthcare system.

An independent nonprofit 501 (c)(3), faith-based community organization, Mission of Mercy receives no government funding. Because of this, we can provide healthcare without any pre-qualifications. None of our patients must prove their poverty or residency.

Founded in 1991 and launched in 1994 by clinical pharmacist, Gianna Talone Sullivan, Pharm D., headquartered in Pennsylvania and serving clinics in Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas, Mission of Mercy now has 17 clinics providing more than 25,000 free patient visits each year.”

Here are some pictures of when our offices volunteered last year:

AZ MOM Line

This was the line waiting to get in.  Thousands of people waited overnight and in the rain to receive dental care.

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Some of our great team!  From Left to Right: Dr Dastrup, Ann – Hygienist, Dr Miller, Morgan – Assistant, Darlene – Assistant, Jennifer – Assistant, and Dr Jenkins.

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Dr Jenkins and Darlene

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Dr Miller and Morgan

Dr D AZ MOM

Dr Dastrup and Jennifer, hard at work!

Anne AZ MOM

Ann, Hygienist, helping brighten smiles!

Amanda Andra AZ MOM

Amanda and Andra, Hygienists, getting ready to clean!

Amanda AZ MOM

Amanda, Hygienist, helping fight plaque and tartar build-up to make a happy mouth!

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After waiting in such a long line, it feels nice to relax and have Andra, Hygienist, clean your teeth!

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Here are the awesome statistics from last years Mission of Mercy event.  We are looking forward to going again this year!  If you are interested in volunteering for this event, everyone is welcome!  You do not have to be a medical profession, there is a job for everyone.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

Home

 

A little dental humor to keep you smiling

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Lora Cook, RDH

A little dental humor to keep you smiling…

Flossing

Flossing More

AirFloss

You can always air floss!

Loose Canine

For more fun, Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.sugarfixdental.com/

http://www.viralnova.com/funny-dog-faces/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/things-youll-only-know-if-your-parents-were-dentists?sub=2681816_1827186

http://themetapicture.com/must-visit-the-dentist/

Dental “Myth Busters”

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Becky Larson, RDH

Dental “Myth Busters”

There are a lot of dental myths out there that are sometimes mistaken for dental truths.  Here are a few facts to help clear up some of the confusion.

Myth #1: You don’t need to brush baby teeth because they will fall out eventually anyway. 

baby_teeth_adult_teeth_differences

Absolutely not!  Baby teeth can still get cavities, which can spread to other teeth and cause pain.  Some baby teeth may even fall out too soon and cause problems with bite or improper development of a child’s permanent teeth.  It’s also important to establish good oral hygiene habits early on.  Children’s teeth should be brushed twice daily (just like adult teeth).

Myth #2: Fluoride is poisonous and should be avoided. 

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Wrong!  Each day the enamel layers of our teeth lose minerals (demineralization) due to the acidity of plaque and sugars in the mouth.  The enamel is remineralized from food and water consumption.  Too much demineralization without enough remineralization leads to tooth decay.  Fluoride helps strengthen enamel, thus making it more resistant to acidic demineralization.  Fluoride can sometimes reverse early tooth decay.  According to the American Dental Association, community water fluoridation is the single more effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.  Many dental offices also offer in office fluoride treatments that can help both children and adults.

Myth #3:  You lose one tooth each time you have a child.

Missing Tooth

Now that’s just silly.  Some women think that when they are pregnant the baby leeches a lot of their calcium supply.  That may be, but it doesn’t mean she will lose any teeth.  However, pregnant women are prone to cavities or having other dental problems.  This is due to morning sickness and vomiting, dry mouth, and a desire/craving for more sugary or starchy foods.  Pregnant women in these circumstances should be sure to continue their regular dental check-ups and try to maintain pristine oral home care.

Myth #4:  If your gums are bleeding you should avoid brushing your teeth and flossing.

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I can’t even begin to stress how wrong this one is!  If your gums are bleeding it means there is active inflammation and infection present.  That means you need to improve on oral hygiene by brushing more frequently or more effectively.  Bleeding gums is a sign of periodontal disease.  If caught early (in the gingivitis stage) it can be reversed.  Brushing should be done twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush.  Flossing should be done at least once daily.

Myth #5:  Placing a tablet of aspirin beside an aching tooth can ease the pain.

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Wrong again.  In order to ease the pain caused by a toothache, aspirin must be fully swallowed.  Placing aspirin on gum tissue for long periods of time can actually damage the tissue and possibly cause an abscess.

Myth #6:  You don’t need to see the dentist if there is no visible problem with your teeth.

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Unfortunately not all dental problems will be visible or obvious.  You should continue to visit the dentist for regular check-ups at least twice per year, in conjunction with your cleanings.  Dental radiographs or other instruments can detect cavities or other problems that might not be causing any symptoms yet.  It’s best to catch things early to minimize the treatment needed.

Myth #7:  After a tooth has been treated for decay it will not decay again.

Broken_Lost_Tooth_Filling

There are no guarantees in dentistry!  While the dentist will do their best to restore teeth to last for as long as possible, there is no way of knowing when or if a tooth will get recurrent decay.  Proper oral home care can prolong the life of dental restorations.

Don’t always believe what you hear!  If you have questions or concerns about your dental health be sure to ask your dentist, hygienist, or other dental professional.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/fluoride-treatment

http://www.livescience.com/22463-gain-a-child-lose-a-tooth-myth-or-reality.html

http://tips4dentalcare.com/2008/06/21/popular-myths-about-dentistry/

Whitening Options

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Peggy Storr RDH

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When considering whitening your teeth, the options may seem confusing. There are many products that you can buy over the counter, online, or in your dental office; should you whiten at home, should you go in and have it done professionally, or just cross your fingers and hope that your toothpaste will do what it says it will do?

For starters, many whitening toothpastes can often have positive whitening and brightening effect because they have abrasive agents that remove surface staining. However, these toothpastes don’t lighten the tooth from the inside. The jury is out on too much use of abrasive products. I think occasional use of these kinds of toothpastes is not harmful.

Another inexpensive option is of course the whitening strips, which some patients of mine have had good results with. They are peroxide based and seem to work best in young adults. The disadvantage to these is they can sometimes be tedious, as you need to use them twice daily and they slip and slide.  Whitening rinses are also peroxide based like the strips, but they definitely are less effective than the strips and take up to 12 weeks to see results.

The fastest and most effective way if you’re willing to make the investment is in-office whitening. In our office, for example, a dental assistant will apply the whitening product directly to your teeth and you will have results in about 60 minutes. My daughter had this done after she got her braces off and the results were dramatic! You can also have trays made custom to your teeth and then take the product home and do it yourself. These trays will fit your teeth perfectly, and thus, work better than the over-the-counter trays. In addition, they won’t irritate your gum tissue.  Now is a great time to whiten your teeth professionally.  The Smiles for Life program is open from now until the end of June.  100% goes to children’s charities and it’s tax deductible for you.  Contact us for more details!

Overall, there really is no wrong way to go. It’s all in your preference, your budget, and your time frame. For example, if you want to get your teeth whitened for your wedding, the in-office treatment is the way to go for sure. ☺ But remember, your oral health is most important before you consider any bleaching option. Always check with your dental professional first!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sourcehttp://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening

What is a Sealant?

KatieM

Katie Moynihan RDH

What is a Sealant?

Dental sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent cavities. They work by providing a protective shield over the deep grooves and pits to seal out plaque and food. Often times, your toothbrush bristles do not reach all the way into the grooves to remove plaque and food. Once these vulnerable areas of your teeth are sealed, you can decrease your chance of tooth decay and be on your way to maintaining a healthy mouth!

Sealant 1

How are sealants applied?

In 5 easy steps:

1. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned.

2. It is then dried properly and covered in cotton, so it stays dry.

3. A solution is applied on the tooth to make it rough, so the sealant sticks better.

4. The tooth is rinsed, dried and again covered in cotton, so it stays dry.

5. The sealant material is painted on the tooth and hardened with a light.

Sealant 2

The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life. Sealants are often applied on children as a preventative method once their adult molars come in. However, adults with deep grooves on their teeth can also benefit from sealants. The process is a quick and painless method. Once applied, sealants can withstand the force of normal chewing and last for several years. During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealant and re-apply as needed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

Sources:

Hood, Alex. Sealants: A Weapon Against Cavities. http://www.deltadentalar.com/blog/sealants-a-weapon-against-cavities

Dental Sealants. (2013). http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/faqs/sealants.htm

Sealants. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants