9654 Sparta Ave NW, Sparta, MI 49345, (616) 887-7389

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Dentistry, unlike traditional medicine, is based mostly on prevention.  The medical doctor waits for you to call with a problem.  In dentistry, our most important service is to teach our patients how to prevent dental problems.  The three main dental problems that are caused by bacteria (germs) are gingivitis (gum infection), periodontitis (bone infection), and cavities. Except in the most extreme circumstances, these three infections are totally preventable.  There is no such thing as ‘soft teeth.’  These infections are not related to genetics.

The preventive things that we teach our patients and do for our patients include: proper brushing (at the gum lines) and flossing techniques, and having regular cleanings-x-rays-exams-fluoride treatments.  Investing in the preventive side of dentistry is the way to keep your dental bills as low as possible.  Even insurance companies understand this concept in that they typically pay the highest percentage (sometimes 90% or even 100%) of cleanings, x-rays, exams, etc. because they are trying to encourage patients to have these services because it prevents the need for fillings, caps, etc. and keeps their costs down.  So, even if you do not have insurance, keeping on a regular schedule of cleanings, x-rays, and exams, will keep your costs down also.

Dental sealants are a way to help keep back teeth from getting decay.  Fluoride in the water supply or by supplements (pills or incorporated in vitamins) reduce decay in children’s teeth by as much as 70%.  At a cost of less than $1 per year per person, fluoridated water supply has been described by the surgeon general as the most cost effective and safest health prevention measure ever discovered.
However, fluoride prevents cavities on the smooth surfaces of teeth and not so well on the biting surfaces of back molars where food catches in the deep grooves of the teeth.  Sealants simply fill in those grooves, preventing food from getting down into the grooves and help prevent cavities in the biting surfaces of the teeth.

Sealants are typically done only on permanent molars, not on baby teeth, but there are certain circumstances where especially deep grooves in baby molars in a child that has a lot of cavities, that sealants are indicated for baby teeth also.  Your child’s dentist and/or hygienist should evaluate your child’s teeth to see if they have deep grooves or not and decide if your child should have sealants on their teeth. Sealants in our office are 1/3 the cost of a filling.  They are very easy to put on teeth and take very little time and do not require any anesthetic (numbing). 

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