Dangers of Dental Sealants Obscure Results
Do you know about the possible dangers of dental sealants? The use of dental sealants, once an almost universally-accepted dental practice, has become somewhat controversial.
If you want general information about dental sealants and what they are, a separate article on this Web site provides what you're looking for.
This article, however, focuses primarily on the potential dangers that may be involved when dental sealants are used.
In the past, dentists were trained to fill a tiny cavity (the size of a pinhead, for example) by placing a large (roughly the size of a pea) quantity of mercury-silver dental amalgam into an oversized, prepared area of the affected tooth.
The area was prepared to receive the dental amalgam by drilling away approximately one-third of the center of the affected tooth. Obviously, this is a substantial portion of the tooth, and the removal of this much tooth through excessive drilling inevitably affects its structural integrity.
The result is a weakened tooth that may break or even die in the future, necessitating an expensive root canal procedure and dental crown.
Dentists are highly educated and highly trained professionals, but dental schools do not typically instruct their dental students regarding the toxicity and other potential risks that may be associated with using dental amalgam to fill their patients' cavities.
Nonetheless, news about these potential dangers of dental sealants and other products is rapidly spreading throughout the dental community as well as the general public. As a result, the services of holistic dentists (sometimes called "biological dentists") are almost exploding in popularity.
These dentists are not only aware of the potential dangers of dental amalgam fillings, they actively avoid using them and they willingly warn their patients of their risks.
The intended purpose of using dental sealants is to repair or correct existing dental issues and prevent the occurrence of issues in the future.
Unfortunately, a growing community of dental professionals - including but not limited to holistic dentists - are coming to believe that dental sealants can cause as many problems as they correct.
In the case of dental amalgam, some of the problems that might potentially arise can be life-threatening, including the potential for mercury poisoning, possible suppression of the immune system, kidney damage and/or impaired renal function and even Alzheimer's disease.
Dangers of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a resinous plastic material and are not related in any way to mercury-silver dental amalgam.
While toxicity is currently not considered to be a problem (or even a potential problem) with dental sealants, they do have their issues. Many dental patients who have had dental sealants applied to their teeth have also experienced problems that are either associated with or caused by the presence of the dental sealants themselves.
All of this has led to the controversy currently swirling around dental sealants. Another contributing factor involves the way dental sealants are painted onto the teeth. The surface of the tooth where the sealant will be painted must first be etched to prepare it to properly receive the sealant and allow it to bond. How much sense does it really make to damage a tooth in order to apply a substance that is intended to protect it?
An increasing number of dentists are reporting that dental sealants seem to be causing more harm than good. As a result, some dentists are now refusing to apply dental sealants.
One of the most common dangers of dental sealants is that they must be placed into the mouth quite precisely, and all bacteria, moisture, food particles and other debris must be scrupulously removed from the area before a dental sealant is applied.
If any of these substances remain, they will be trapped beneath the dental sealant and tooth decay will inevitably result at some point in the future.
On The Long Run
The failure of dental sealants over time is an even more likely event. They are, after all, only a thin layer of plastic painted over a tooth's surface. As such, they are subject to wear and can become damaged over time.
Even if the amount of damage is so small as to be essentially undetectable, food particles, bacteria, moisture and so forth will be able to seep beneath the sealant and begin the process that leads to tooth decay.
There are even reports of patients who have experienced extensive tooth decay in each tooth where a dental sealant had previously been applied.
In those cases the dangers of dental sealants are obvious. The presence of the dental sealant provokes and even conceals the underlying tooth decay, which is able to progress for a lengthy period before being detected.
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