What Are Dental Sealants?

Dr. Cynthia Stephenson pic
Dr. Cynthia Stephenson
Image: dentistofwalnutcreek.com

Cynthia Stephenson, DDS, is the owner of a dentistry practice in Walnut Creek, California, which she established in 2009. The clinic places a focus on preventive dental care, and Dr. Cynthia Stephenson is committed to pursuing new preventive opportunities and services in the industry.

Dental sealants are one example of preventive dentistry treatment. Used to waylay, or even avert, the decay of teeth, a sealant is an acrylic coating applied to the grooved surface of the most problematic teeth: the chewing molars.

Though brushing and flossing are essential to oral health, some teeth have trenches and edges into which food becomes lodged and can prove difficult to remove. Once coated with sealant, a tooth is effectively shielded from particles that, if overlooked, could expedite decay.

Children and adolescents are good candidates for dental sealants because their teeth are less likely to have existing decay. Once a tooth has begun to decay, or has developed a cavity, it may not be a suitable candidate for sealant application, though in some cases a sealant could be used to forestall further damage.

Once applied, a dental sealant can protect teeth for as many as ten years before reapplication is needed. It is possible for the coating to chip or wear away, however, and a dentist can watch for this erosion during checkups.

The Give Back a Smile Dental Program for Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Give Back a Smile Dental Program pic
Give Back a Smile Dental Program
Image: aacd.com

The owner of a dental clinic in Walnut Creek, Cynthia Stephenson, DDS, has served patients in the San Francisco Bay area for more than twenty years. Through her business, Dr. Cynthia Stephenson supports numerous local and national charities including Give Back a Smile, an organization that provides extensive dental treatments to survivors of domestic abuse.

Through the organization, dentists have the opportunity to give back to their communities by helping individuals in need. By reaching out to people whose front teeth have been damaged due to violence from a partner, family member, or sexual assault, Give Back a Smile repairs a bit of the visible harm caused by the attack.

Potential patients interested in the program must complete an application form and either pay a $20 application fee or donate 10 hours of their time through community service. A number of additional criteria must be met, including:

The applicant must have been separated from the violent individual for a minimum of one year (either through relocation, or if the aggressor has been imprisoned).

The applicant must have met with a social worker, counselor, therapist, or doctor at least once.

The applicant must accept that certain dental procedures – including those related to cavities, jaw injuries, or gum disease – are not covered by the Give Back a Smile program.

Once an applicant has gained preliminary acceptance, they attend a consultation with a volunteer dentist, who determines what treatment is required and schedules an appointment.