Having dental sealants bonded on your teeth early can help prevent tooth decay. Bailey Family Dental can help you decide if this would be a good option for you and your family.
Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
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A bright healthy smile can help you feel and look great throughout your life. The first step in maintaining a healthy mouth is preventing tooth decay. Sealants can offer major protection against cavities.
Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque. Plaque bacteria use sugar and starch in food as a source of energy. The bacteria convert the sugar or starch into harmful acids that attack tooth enamel for as long as 30 minutes or more.
How long do sealants last?
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth’s biting surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary without charge if the sealant was placed in our office.
Sealants are just for kids right?
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates, but adults can benefit from sealants as well. Many private dental plans cover sealants for children and teenagers. Our insurance specialist will be happy to check your benefit plan for sealant coverage.
What factors could make an adult a candidate for sealants?
The best way to determine the need for sealants is to evaluate the person’s risk for pit and fissure decay, which continues throughout adulthood and varies from one person to another. Risk can also vary for the same person over time, because changes in personal habits, health status and medication use are known to increase risk for decay. Lack of access to fluorides and fluoridated water, a history of previous decay, and chronic xerostomia (dry mouth) are also factors we will consider when evaluating you for sealants.
Prevention is better than treatment! Savings in both dollars and time can be gained by application of sealants, rather than allowing decay and requiring the tooth to be restored.