Dental Sealants: What They Are and Why They’re Important
Dental sealants are a preventive dental treatment used to protect the teeth from decay. They are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where decay is most likely to occur. The goal of dental sealants is to prevent the formation of cavities and maintain good oral health.
What Do Dental Sealants Do for Your Teeth
Dental sealants act as a barrier, preventing food particles and bacteria from settling into the grooves and crevices of the teeth. They are particularly effective in preventing decay on the chewing surfaces of the molars, where the deep grooves and crevices can be difficult to clean. The sealant material fills in these areas, making it easier to clean and less likely for bacteria and food particles to stick. This helps to protect the teeth from decay, reducing the risk of cavities and maintaining good oral health.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied
The application of dental sealants is a quick and painless process. The tooth is cleaned and dried, and then a special solution is applied to the chewing surface to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The liquid sealant is then painted onto the tooth and hardened with a special light. Once the sealant has hardened, the dentist will check to ensure that it is properly placed and has no gaps or cracks. The entire process typically takes less than an hour and can be done in one visit to the dentist.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are recommended for children and teenagers, as they are at a higher risk of developing cavities. Children who are prone to cavities or who have deep grooves and crevices in their molars may also benefit from dental sealants. However, dental sealants can be applied to adults as well, especially those who are at a higher risk of decay. It is important to talk to your dentist to determine if dental sealants are the right choice for you. If you have dental anxiety, you may find our article on how to overcome fear of the dentist helpful.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealants
There are many benefits to getting dental sealants, including:
- Protection against cavities: Dental sealants act as a barrier, preventing food particles and bacteria from settling into the grooves and crevices of the teeth. This helps to reduce the risk of cavities and maintain good oral health.
- Easy to clean: Dental sealants make it easier to clean the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, reducing the risk of decay and helping to maintain good oral health.
- Painless: The application of dental sealants is a quick and painless process that can be done in one visit to the dentist.
- Cost-effective: Dental sealants are a cost-effective way to protect against decay and maintain good oral health. They are often covered by dental insurance, making them an affordable option for many people.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Dental Sealants
There are no significant risks associated with dental sealants. In rare cases, the sealant may crack or become dislodged, but this can be easily fixed by reapplying the sealant. It is important to continue to practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, even after the application of dental sealants. Learn more about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste and how often you should replace your toothbrush to maintain good oral health.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last
Dental sealants can last for several years, but it is important to have them checked regularly by your dentist to ensure that they are still intact. Most dental sealants will need to be reapplied every five to ten years, or as recommended by your dentist. Regular dental check-ups can help to identify any issues with your dental sealants and other dental concerns, such as whether to keep or extract your wisdom teeth.
If you’re looking for a way to prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, dental sealants may be the right choice for you. Not only are they a quick and painless way to protect against decay, but they are also cost-effective and easy to maintain. Our experienced team of White Rock dentists, can help you determine if dental sealants are the right choice for your oral health needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how dental sealants can benefit you.