Preventive Resins at Oakland Family Dental

Add a Protective Layer to Your Teeth

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is essential to avoid the negative effects of tooth decay. Untreated tooth decay can lead to the need for fillings, root canals, and even extractions. Additionally, tooth decay can put you at a higher risk for periodontal disease, tooth loss, and even heart disease. 

The best way to protect your teeth from decay is to take a proactive approach to your dental care. In addition to daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals, visiting our Waterford office for a biannual hygiene visit can keep your teeth clean year-round. Some patients are more susceptible to tooth decay, so as a preventive measure, Dr. Sheehan may recommend a preventive resin restoration as an added layer of protection. 

At Oakland Family Dental, we use durable materials for our restorative treatments that can help strengthen and protect your teeth. Read on to discover how preventive resin restorations can benefit your oral health. 

What is a Preventive Resin?

A preventive resin restoration or “dental sealant” acts as a natural tooth coating and is a preventive treatment used to seal deep grooves in the tooth. It helps preserve teeth by providing a smooth surface that can prevent any bacteria from affecting your tooth. Preventive resin also helps shield against tooth decay, which is damage to the structural integrity of your teeth. Cavities, infections, extractions, and periodontal disease are all results of untreated tooth decay, so it’s imperative to be proactive in keeping your mouth clean. 

Your mouth has its own unique microbiome filled with healthy bacteria that help break down food and deliver nutrients to the rest of the body. An influx of sugar or leftover food particles can lead to the formation of unhealthy bacteria. These bacteria will accumulate over the surfaces of your teeth and gums with hopes of eating through them, which is why consistent oral health is essential to keeping your mouth clean. 

Some of your teeth have wider chewing surfaces, as well as grooves and peaks, which make breaking down food much easier. For some patients, these grooves may be deeper than others, which makes the tooth more vulnerable because it can easily become a place for unhealthy bacteria to hide and grow. A preventive resin fills the groove and “seals” the tooth so that unhealthy bacteria can’t get in. 

If you’ve been having trouble cleaning your deep grooves in various areas of your teeth, it’s best to schedule an appointment at our Waterford office right away. Dr. Sheehan can fill in those grooves before any further damage is done to your smile

Candidacy for Preventive Resin

A preventive resin treatment is done on teeth that have not received a filling or suffered from tooth decay. If you or your child have naturally deep grooves, then it’s best to schedule a preventive resin treatment as early as you can to prevent tooth decay. 

Here’s a brief guide on when we offer preventive resin restorations to our patients:

  • Babies and Toddlers: Occasionally, we will fill in your youngster’s teeth if they already have deep grooves and are more cavity-prone.
  • Children and Teens: We’ll oftentimes fill in the six-year molars as soon as they appear or any time throughout the cavity-prone ages of six to 16.
  • Adults: If Dr. Sheehan notices your deep grooves early on, she will fill them in right away to help prevent decay.
A mom, dad, and baby smiling
Young man getting his teeth examined.

What to Expect at Your Appointment

The process in which Dr. Sheehan applies preventive resin to your teeth is a simple treatment that can be completed in just one appointment. For patients who only require a single application of protective resin, this will take only a few minutes to apply successfully. 

First, your tooth will be professionally cleaned and dried off to prepare for the resin. The resin is made of a thin, clear coat that acts as an extra layer of protection for the enamel. It is then applied to each tooth’s surface with a special solution to bond the two together.

Once the resin hardens, you’re ready to return to your daily routine. Simply continue with your regular oral hygiene regime, maintain a balanced diet, and return to our Waterford office for your biannual dental visits to ensure your resin lasts for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do preventive resins last?

After the initial application, preventive resins can last three to five years or longer with proper upkeep. Daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals paired with biannual visits with Dr. Sheehan at our Waterford office can prolong the life of your preventive resin and keep tooth decay at bay.

Is a preventive resin treatment painful?

No—a preventive resin treatment is a pain-free, non-invasive treatment. Some patients might experience discomfort, but if you feel pain, please let Dr. Sheehan know immediately.

Does everyone need a preventive resin treatment?

Not everyone will need a preventive resin treatment. It is natural for our teeth to have grooves and pits, but for some patients, those grooves can be a little too deep, which makes for the perfect hiding place for unhealthy bacteria. 

This treatment is incredibly common for children to ensure the longevity of their teeth, but adults can benefit from them as well.

Is a preventive resin the same as a filling?

The main difference between a preventive resin and a dental filling is the purpose. A preventive resin treatment is a preventive measure performed on healthy teeth in order to protect them from tooth decay. 

A dental filling is a restorative measure performed on teeth that have suffered from the effects of tooth decay (cavities). They are meant to protect the tooth from further damage while also repairing it from the damage already done.

Preserve Your Smile with Dr. Sheehan Today

If you’re interested in having a protective resin applied to your teeth to minimize exposure to plaque, call our Waterford office at (248) 609-3589 with any of your questions and concerns. The composite resin treatment can provide a layer of defense for your teeth that will offer benefits for years to come.