Preventive Dentistry by Woodstock Dentist Dr. Park


All teeth form with anatomical grooves. If there are deep anatomical grooves or pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces, microscopic food particles can become trapped inside and eventually form cavities in those areas. Permanent molars, especially, can trap microscopic food particles and promote cavity formation due to their large size and presence of pits and grooves. Effectively coating and sealing these surfaces with a dental material can help prevent or arrest cavity formation on permanent teeth. After sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth, it fills in the anatomic pits and fissures forming a physical barrier on the tooth surface so food will not trap in those areas, helping to prevent cavity formation.


Topical fluorides strengthen teeth by making them more decay- or cavity-resistant. Fluoride is a mineral found in all natural water sources and is the ionic form of the trace element fluorine, which is commonly found in the environment in soil and rocks present in groundwater. The ADA recognizes the use of fluoride as safe and effective in preventing tooth decay for both children and adults. Professionally applied topical fluorides include higher-strength toothpaste, gels, and foams; fluoride varnishes; and silver diamine fluoride.


SDF is a safe alternative to the traditional treatment of dental caries which consists of numbing the teeth with local anesthesia then drilling with a dental handpiece. SDF can harden a softened carious tooth and help kill bacteria that lies naturally within a tooth cavity, helping to slow down the progression of a cavity. It can also provide immediate relief from dentinal hypersensitivity. Although SDF application does not stain healthy, sound tooth structure, SDF can stain cavities and weak tooth structures black. Silver Diamine Fluoride is FDA approved and has been used extensively around the globe for decades.