Dental sealants are a tailored plastic coating that dentists apply to the molars and premolars. Dentists use sealants to stop food and plaque from collecting in the deep grooves and fissures in the molars, where these materials can settle and cause decay.
Sealants are most frequently used for children and teenagers, though adults who do not have fillings or decay in these teeth can also benefit.
About Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are often made of composite resin. This tooth-colored material bonds with the teeth and protects them from decay. Other materials used for sealants include polyacid resin and glass ionomers. Your dentist will choose the material that poses the most benefits.
Dental sealants have been popular since the early 1970s. Dental research supports their effectiveness in protecting decay, especially in children and teens.
Sealants may last as long as ten years, but the dentist will check them at each visit to ensure they are in good shape. It is safe to replace them when they exhibit wear.
How Sealants Are Applied
The application process is easy. First, the teeth receive meticulous cleaning. The dentist or hygienist dries each tooth and surrounds it with cotton to keep it dry.
The practitioner then coats the tooth with an acid solution to help the sealant bond with the teeth. The teeth receive another rinse and drying.
Finally, the practitioner paints the sealant onto the teeth, where it bonds with the enamel. For some types of sealant, a curing light helps it harden.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants’ primary benefit is to prevent decay in the vulnerable molars and premolars. They can be used for permanent teeth or baby teeth, though the most common use is for permanent teeth. Children between the ages of six and 14 are most prone to dental decay, and anything that can help to prevent problems at this age is worthwhile.
Choosing Dental Sealants
Dentists recommend that all children and teens receive sealants as part of their regular dental care. Adults with no existing decay in their molars or premolars can also benefit from this simple dental intervention.
Dental sealants are a proven, safe, and easy way to reduce your child’s chances of developing decay in the molars and premolars. They protect your child’s dental health in the long term and reduce the chances of future decay and tooth loss.
Sealants add only a few minutes to a standard pediatric cleaning and exam. If you have any questions or concerns about sealants, call our office to receive help.
Call Dental Associates for Kids Only, LLP
Sealants can make a huge difference in your child’s lifelong dental health. Call our office at 516-625-3806 for more information on sealants and to make an appointment for your child to receive them.