Dental sealants are thin coatings that can be applied on teeth chewing surfaces to help prevent tooth decay. The coating is usually applied on the back adult teeth, specifically the molars and premolars, as those are the most common teeth for decay to occur on. The application of sealants bonds quickly into the grooves and depressions of the teeth. This forms a protective shield covering the enamel of the tooth, thus, preventing plaque and food particles from getting stuck in the teeth. The process of brushing and flossing is completed to remove plaque and food particles on the tooth’s smooth surfaces. However, getting to the hidden parts and into the grooves of the back teeth is more difficult. Sealants are excellent in helping protect these areas.
Research has shown that dental sealants help reduce the risk of cavities occurring by around 80 percent. Children who do not have sealants are three times more likely to get cavities. Dental sealants are a conservative and effective non-invasive treatment. Sealants can sometimes be used to help prevent the progression of initial cavities and prevent any future need for restoration of the teeth with dental fillings.
Young children and teenagers need dental sealants. They have the highest likelihood of developing tooth decay in the depressions and grooves of the molars and premolars. When the tooth first grows in, the grooves are large which allows plaque and food to get trapped inside the tooth. Children should get sealants as soon as the permanent molars and premolars come in to prevent this from occurring.
This will help ensure that the teeth are protected throughout the years when they are most prone to cavities. In some cases, sealants can be used on baby teeth if they have deep grooves and depressions. Adults who don’t have fillings or decay can also be candidates for sealants to protect their molars.
Applying dental sealants is a simple and pain-free process. The entire process is completed in a few minutes. The dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant can perform the procedure. The first step in the process involves cleaning the tooth. The tooth is then dried carefully and cleaned with a blue soap which is then thoroughly rinsed and dried. The blue soap is used to helps the sealants to stick better to the tooth. The sealant is then painted onto the enamel of the tooth and hardened with a blue light, creating the seal. The sealant appears white so it blends in with the tooth and is very small so it cannot be noticed.
Dental sealants can last for years. It is necessary to get a regular checkup to look for signs of chipping or wearing. The application technique has been perfected to make dental sealants more permanent.
In some cases, sealants may need to be replaced as necessary. One can get individual advice from the dentist to determine when to seal the teeth. Dental sealants have been proven to be safe and effective, and they are very beneficial.
It is vital to get regular dental checkups every 6 months, at minimum. Having dental sealants is not an excuse to neglect good oral hygiene and home care. Taking good care of the teeth starting at a young age will help protect them from decay and other dental issues in the future.
For more on dental sealants, visit Hamlin Modern Dentistry at our office in Winter Garden, Florida. You can call (407) 993-6370 today to schedule an appointment.