Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are plastic coatings that we paint on the chewing surfaces of healthy teeth to protect them from decay. The procedure is quick, painless and inexpensive.

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Kids should get their molars sealed as soon as they come in, especially if they have deep grooves or pits, Grill said. It’s more cost-effective to seal young teeth than to repair them later.

Prevents Cavities

Tooth decay is the leading dental health concern in America, causing pain and costly restorations like fillings and crowns. But it is also preventable. Dental sealants are plastic resins that protect the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars from plaque and food debris that leads to tooth decay. They have been in use since the 1960s and are effective for children and adults with healthy teeth. They can reduce cavities in these back teeth by up to 80%.

The chewing surfaces of molars and premolars have deep grooves called fissures. These are difficult to clean, and the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach them. Plaque deposits accumulate in these grooves and turn into acid that destroys the enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Dental sealants give a protective shield to these grooves, keeping them smooth and protecting the enamel.

The procedure to apply a sealant is simple and quick. First the tooth is cleaned and dried. Next, an acidic gel is applied to the surface of the tooth, which roughens it, allowing the sealant to bond effectively with the enamel. After the tooth is rinsed and dried, the dentist applies a thin coat of the sealant to the chewing surfaces of the tooth. It is then hardened with a special light. Sealants are long-lasting and durable, but they may need reapplication periodically. Avoid biting hard objects like ice or chewing gum, as this can dislodge the sealant.

Prevents Plaque Buildup

The chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars and premolars) have deep pits and grooves that can collect food particles, plaque and bacteria. If left alone, these can lead to tooth decay. Sealants act as a protective barrier to keep food debris and bacteria out of these tiny crevices.

The process is quick and easy, and there is no need for anesthesia or drilling. First, the teeth that will receive the sealants are thoroughly cleaned. Then, each tooth is dried and isolated with cotton or another absorbent material to ensure that the tooth is dry during the sealant application. The chewing surfaces are then treated with an acidic gel, which roughens the surface of the tooth to help the sealant bond better. The teeth are rinsed and dried again, and then the dentist will paint on the sealant. A special curing light is then used to harden the resin.

In addition to dental sealants, Lurie Children’s recommends good oral hygiene habits including daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Patients should also limit sugary foods and beverages, as well as schedule regular dental checkups. Patients who have a mental or physical challenge that makes consistent oral hygiene difficult should discuss dental sealants with their dentist to determine if they are appropriate. Generally, patients with these challenges are more susceptible to cavities on their chewing surfaces.

Prevents Damage to the Roots

Sealants can help protect the grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces of children’s teeth from plaque and food particles that could lead to tooth decay. Even with diligent brushing and flossing, these deep crevices are prone to developing bacterial buildup that can lead to cavities. It is much easier for patients to brush and floss their back teeth, which can reduce the chances of these problems arising in the first place.

The procedure for applying dental sealants is simple and painless. First, the chewing surfaces of the teeth receiving treatment are cleaned thoroughly and wiped dry. Then, a coating of an acid solution will be applied to the chewing surface of each tooth in order to roughen them up, which will help the sealant bond with the teeth. After this, the teeth will be rinsed off and dried again.

Once the teeth are dry, the dentist will paint the sealant into the grooves and pits of the molars. The sealant will then harden, which can happen on its own or with the use of a curing light.

The benefits of dental sealants are significant and can help prevent future problems for both children and adults. If you’re interested in finding out more about this preventative dental treatment, schedule an appointment with Modern Essence Dentistry today! Our dentists will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prevents Damage to the Teeth

Dental sealants protect the biting surfaces of the molars from food particles and plaque that can create tooth decay. The tooth-colored or white sealant bonds and hardens on the enamel of each tooth, creating a barrier that keeps bacteria from accessing the chewing surfaces of teeth and causing cavities.

A dental sealant is a pain-free treatment that does not require numbing. It is a great addition to a regular brushing routine, along with flossing and fluoridated toothpaste. Your dentist may recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis to prevent tooth decay for patients who have high-risk areas or for children whose baby molars have deep grooves.

Before applying the sealant, a dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean and dry each tooth that will be treated. Then a liquid solution will be applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant adhere better. This is called etching and it usually only takes a few seconds before the tooth is rinsed and dried again. After the tooth is dry, a sealant will be painted onto the chewing surfaces of the tooth, filling in the grooves and pits. Some sealants will need to be “cured” by shining a curing light on the teeth, but most of them will harden on their own in a minute or two.