What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are placed on the tops of teeth to protect them from decay. Patients with deep fissures and cusps at the crowns of their teeth may benefit from sealants, as well as children who may not have the best oral hygiene habits. Sealants act as a protective barrier between your teeth and the environment in your mouth. If you’re prone to developing cavities, sealants can be an ideal way to protect your teeth and prevent the need for additional fillings. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s teeth, but they can be just as beneficial for adults who are prone to cavities and fissure staining. Sealants are totally clear, so you won’t even be able to tell that they’re on your teeth. They can last for up to three years with proper care and oral hygiene habits.
Why are Dental Sealants needed?
Dental sealants may be recommended for kids who are prone to developing cavities. Sealants can typically only be applied to the tops of the teeth, where the deep fissures and cusps provide a haven for bacteria to eat away at the sensitive enamel. Sealants will create a barrier between the bacterial environment of the mouth and the tooth, which can severely reduce the likelihood of developing a cavity in these areas. As an adult, dental sealants can prevent the need for additional fillings. They protect the teeth fully and can help in putting a stop to decay, which can lead the need for either a filling or complete root canal.
Who is a good candidate for Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are ideal for most patients who want to protect their teeth from decay. They are especially advantageous to those who are prone to developing cavities, or already have a lot of fillings in their mouth. Sealants can be applied to baby teeth to protect them from decay, helping maintain the strength and health of natural teeth in the mouth before permanent teeth come in. Sealants can be applied to baby and adult teeth, as they have many benefits that aren’t often found with other procedures. The procedure requires absolutely no anesthetic, and is done in our office in a short period of time.
What can you expect when having Dental Sealants placed?
You or your child will come into the office and be seated. A clear liquid is brushed onto the tops of affected teeth. The sealant is then cured into place using the same light that we use to cure the composite in bonding and fillings. Once the sealant has been cured, you’ll benefit from one to three years of protection. During this time, it is still important that you or your child come into the office for regular, bi-annual exams and cleanings. Because the sealant is only applied to the tops of the teeth, the rest of the tooth is still susceptible to decay, and proper oral hygiene must be followed each day. We can provide you with tips on how to better care for your own teeth, as well as your child’s, so that decay is kept at bay. Sealants are clear and relatively inconspicuous. Only the dental staff will be able to tell that a sealant is on a tooth, and we will monitor it to make sure that it is still in place at each of your appointments.