Nasal Congestion and the dental appointment

We may not think these two occurrences are related, but they are in a big way! We have two ways of breathing, through our nose and/or mouth. When a patient has a dental appointment, they can count on not being able to breathe through their mouth 100% of the time. There are procedures that involve much water (cleanings, crown preps, fillings), also times when the patient is unable to swallow (sealants, fillings, root canal therapy). If the patient has nasal congestion, it makes these processes uncomfortable and even risks their success. Nasal breathing also minimizes the gag reflex and makes taking any xrays easier. The patient may want to consider using a nasal decongestant prior to their appointment. It will make the patient more comfortable and add to the overall success of the procedure and possibly even shorten the appointment time!


Get Sealants Before They Need Fillings

Your dentist may recommend sealants for your children or even yourself. What is a sealant? A sealant is a preventative procedure that can be done before any decay is present on a tooth, particularly in the grooves of molars. There is little to no drilling involved and after the tooth surface is prepared, a drop of liquid resin is applied and it flows into the grooves. A UV light is shown on it to harden the resin into its final state. It appears clear or tooth colored and it forms a shield to prevent decay causing bacteria from getting into the grooves and starting a cavity.

Sealants are a preventative measure and are designed to keep as much original tooth structure as possible. Usually they are done on permanent teeth, as soon as they have erupted enough. They are also more cost effective than getting fillings. A sealant may cost $55 per tooth; if a patient needs a one surface filling on a molar, it may be around $180. This is ONE tooth and there has been a loss of tooth structure forever. Sealants were designed to get children through the cavity-prone years and have proven very successful.