Preventing Tooth Decay With Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars and premolars to prevent decay. The sealant bonds to the grooves and indents of the tooth and protect the enamel. Most tooth decay starts in these deep grooves because they are so hard to clean. The sealant will protect the tooth by covering the deep, hard to clean grooves and provide a smoother surface that is easier to clean.
Although sealants can last a long time, they are checked for damage at every dental visit.
Reasons for sealants:
- First permanent teeth: Young children should get sealants on their first permanent molars as soon as they come in to avoid getting cavities during the cavity prone years (6 to 14).
- Adults: Tooth surfaces that have deep grooves might benefit from sealants if they do not have any decay.
- Baby teeth: If a child is prone to cavities, sealants may be applied.
What do sealants involve?
Our dental hygienists can apply a sealant within a few minutes. The steps are as follows:
- The tooth receiving the sealant is cleaned thoroughly.
- The tooth is completely dried.
- A solution is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth to make it rougher. This makes it easier to bond to.
- The tooth is rinsed of any excess solution and then dried again.
- The Sealant is painted onto the tooth.
- As it hardens, it will bond with the rough surface. A light can be used to speed the curing process.