Dental Sealant

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years.

Certain people are simply more prone to dental caries due to the shape and structure of their teeth – not because they don’t brush regularly. Dentists should recommend sealants to all of their patients that are at risk for decay.  They are very beneficial for individuals who are especially prone to cavities, such as teens and young children – and in certain circumstances those who still have baby teeth.

Sealants are a necessary decay preventing dental treatment. Sealants are designed to fill the deep pits and grooves of your molars, which are uniquely susceptible to caries because they’re known to trap food particles in these areas of the teeth. When bacteria become trapped in this way, it’s often a recipe for cavities. A thin layer of a clear or white resin material is placed in the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of permanent molar teeth to seal out the food and bacteria to prevent cavities. The procedure is quick, anxiety free, painless and takes less than a minute per tooth to complete. The American Dental Association recommends that children should be assessed for sealants when permanent molars first emerge around age 6 and again around age 12. Teenagers and young adults prone to cavities also may benefit from dental sealants.  Dental sealants are completely safe and effective and can reduce tooth decay by 80%.

Children, prone to cavities because of the natural shape of their molars, may benefit from dental sealants, which act as a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria.Sealants are one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to prevent decay on back molars. Sealants can be placed on all patients, but the focus is usually on young children and teenagers who are most prone to developing cavities. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry pits and fissures account for 88% of all childhood cavities.  Additionally the average cost of placing a sealant is less than one third the cost of filling a cavity. Placing sealants on your child’s permanent molars are incredibly important for health and financial purposes.

Teeth have deep pits and fissures that are especially prone to decay.  These areas are constantly exposed to bacteria in plaque. Plaque bacteria convert sugars and starch from food into harmful acid that attacks tooth enamel.  These attacks cause the enamel to break down, resulting in cavities.

Sealants are very easy to apply. Applied by a dentist or dental hygienist, dental sealants are a plastic coating that protects the chewing surfaces of permanent molars. The chewing surface is conditioned to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The application is fast and painless. The teeth to be seal are cleaned, then dried. A gel is put on the tooth to make the surface rough and helps the sealant to stick to the tooth. Then, the tooth is rinsed and dried again. The sealant is applied in liquid form on to the grooved areas and hardens to a glass-like surface in a few seconds. A special light is used to complete the process.

Sealants hold up very well under normal chewing and usually last for several years. Sealants can last up to 10 years when they are being checked upon regularly by a professional dentist to make sure they are not starting to wear away or that they are not chipped. The dentist or dental hygienist can repair sealants by adding more sealant material. Your dentist will check the condition of the sealants at your preventive care visits and recommend reapplication as needed.

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