Using sealants to prevent cavities
Dental sealants are coatings made of resin which are placed on the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth, preventing the molars and premolars from decay. When we are young and our teeth first develop, we have larger grooves in our teeth that are susceptible to getting cavities when bits of food get stuck in them. This is less of an issue as we grow up because these grooves tend to smooth out from normal wear and tear.
Depending on the type of dental sealant used, sealants can be white, clear or have a slight tint. Usually, dental sealants are placed on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars because of their deep grooves. However, dental sealants can also be applied to some permanent teeth if they also have deep fissures, so they may be protected. Dental sealants are proven to prevent decay on chewing surfaces and can last for a number of years, and if necessary, a new sealant can be added to the tooth.
How are dental sealants placed?
Your dental team will clean the surface of your tooth and place an acidic solution on the fissured area of the tooth. This creates a rougher microscopic surface that enables the sealant to adhere to the tooth. The dental sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened with a sealant light. Lastly, once the dental sealant becomes hardened, it becomes a hard coating on the tooth.
Our doctors will evaluate the risks for each of their young patients, and will often recommend the use of dental sealants to cover over these grooves, sealing out bacteria and plaque. Although dental sealants are a helpful preventive measure for young children, adults can also benefit from the protective shield they offer from cavities.
If you’re seeking more information regarding sealants, give us a call today for a consultation at 780-484-5918.