Dental sealants are thin protective layers (made of plastic or other dental material) that adhere to the chewing surface of your back teeth. It is not a substitute for toothbrush and dental floss, but it can help prevent cavities from forming. It is used a lot in children and adolescents.
Today we will explain briefly what dental sealants consist of.
Why Would I Need Dental Sealants?
Tooth brushing and using dental floss are means of prevention against tooth decay that are part of daily oral hygiene; however, sometimes they fail to remove food debris from the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. That is why there is a treatment that protects these areas susceptible to plaque buildup: dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are made of a thin layer of plastic and are placed in the grooves and pits of the chewing surfaces, usually in the back teeth. This way, the cleaning of these teeth is facilitated by having smoother surfaces and the risk of suffering tooth decay is reduced.
How do Dental Sealants Work?
After eating food and beverages, the bacterial plaque is formed, which is formed by food debris in conjunction with bacteria, it adheres to the teeth and acids are formed, which over time wear down the enamel (outer surface) of the teeth. If the plaque is not removed through proper brushing, tooth decay will occur.
Frequently, the surfaces that are used for chewing are more susceptible to retaining a greater amount of plaque due to their uneven shape with groves and pits. That is why when covering these grooves with a dental material, it is more difficult for the bacterial plaque to accumulate in these areas, in this way, the risk of having tooth decay is reduced.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
The application of dental sealants is a simple and painless procedure consisting of the following stages:
- The cleaning of the tooth to be treated is performed.
- Cottons are placed to keep the tooth dry.
- Then, a gel will be applied that will help the subsequent binding of the sealant to the tooth.
- The tooth will be rinsed and dried.
- The sealant will be placed in the grooves and pits of the chewing surfaces of the tooth. Depending on the type of sealant, a special light will be used to harden the sealant.
Who Would Benefit From Dental Sealants?
They are more effective in children with newly formed permanent teeth that is between 6 to 12 years. But, they can also be used in adults to prevent tooth decay and maintain proper oral health.
Remember that it is better to protect teeth that are healthy with the help of dental sealants, as this can prevent the appearance and progression of tooth decay, which implies longer and more expensive treatments
Questions? Contact Family Dental of Fairfax City
If you have any additional questions about dental sealants or are looking to schedule an appointment with Dr. Patricia Dary, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Dental of Fairfax City! Our team is experienced in providing dental sealants in Fairfax, VA.