Why You Should Consider Dental Sealants
Tuesday May 17, 2016 by Melissa Brown, DDS
When it comes to great oral care, it is important to take precautionary measures to ensure the prevention of cavities and tooth decay. One of those precautionary measures is the use of dental sealants. If you have not heard of dental sealants, it is likely because their popularity is just beginning to rise. It has only been within the last 15-20 years that the awareness around them has increased. If you are wondering what dental sealants are and what benefits they provide, we are here to share that with you today.
WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS?
A dental sealant is a barrier for your teeth that protects against cavities. Sealants are made of a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Often, the premolars and molars are the teeth where the sealant gets applied because this is where tooth decay most often occurs.
Though brushing and flossing help to remove food particles and plaque, toothbrushes are not always able to reach the deep grooves of teeth to extract all the food and plaque. Dental sealants help to protect these vulnerable areas by essentially “sealing out” the plaque and food that would cause the decay.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR GETTING SEALANTS?
Having dental sealants applied to your teeth is a simple process that takes a short amount of time, and it typically does not cause discomfort.
1. The tooth’s surface is cleaned, and then rinsed and dried.
2. Next an “etching” material is applied to the tooth for about 10-15 seconds. This roughens up the surface of the tooth so the sealant can adhere to your tooth.
3. Once the etching is complete, the tooth is thoroughly rinsed with water.
4. After the water rinse, the tooth surface is dried once again, and this time the dental sealant is applied. A curing light helps to harden the sealant to the surface of the tooth.
5. Finally, the sealant is examined to ensure that it is not too high and that your bite is not off.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL SEALANTS?
One misconception about dental sealants is they are only necessary for children. Regardless of age, everyone is susceptible to tooth decay. Sealants can decrease this risk for everyone who chooses to receive them. Since molars and premolars have deep grooves, adding a sealant can prevent food from getting down in there, and from plaque building up and gathering in the grooves, giving bacteria no place to grow. Spending a little money upfront will ensure neglected areas of your teeth will not cost you more money down the road.
Now that you understand more what dental sealants are and how they can help in your preventative oral care, it is a great idea to consider this treatment to avoid costly dental treatments in the future. If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants or you would like to set up an appointment, simply contact us here. We would love to help you maintain your beautiful smile for years to come.