Seal Out Tooth Decay with Dental Sealants
Maintaining proper oral hygiene practices including regular brushing and flossing is the best way you can protect your teeth from developing tooth decay and cavities. However, it’s not always easy to reach every groove and crevice, especially on the molars at the back of your mouth. The good news is that preventive dentistry offers dental sealants which have been shown to shield the chewing surfaces of your teeth, providing long-lasting extra protection from decay.
What Are Dental Sealants?
The most likely location for cavities to develop is on the chewing surfaces of the premolars which are found in the back of the mouth. These surfaces are not smooth and are covered with grooves known as pits and fissures. Plaque and food particles accumulate in these areas, allowing bacteria to attack the tooth enamel, which can result in tooth decay.
Dental sealants are thin, transparent plastic coatings we paint onto the chewing surfaces of the premolars and the molars to smooth them out and form a protective shield, making them more resistant to tooth decay. Teeth treated with sealants are less likely to develop cavities, which, if left untreated, can cause pain, and may require involved procedures down the road. Sealants have been shown to be effective for use over areas with early decay to prevent further damage to the teeth.
Who Is a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Sealants are primarily used on children, teens, and young adults. The earlier a child gets sealants, the better. Sealing molars as soon as they come in can help keep them be cavity-free right from the start, preventing the need for treatments in the long run.
Adults may also be good candidates for sealants. Every patient is different, with unique needs, so it’s best to consult with your dentist at Nicoma Park Dental in Oklahoma City to determine if sealants are right for you.
What Is the Procedure?
Applying dental sealants is a quick, safe, and painless procedure. First, we will clean the teeth thoroughly and dry them. We will place an acidic solution on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, allowing the sealant to bond to the teeth. The final step is painting the sealant onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth, where it bonds and hardens, sealing off the teeth and providing a protective barrier.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Dental sealants typically last from five to 10 years, after which they may need to be replaced. You will need to have them checked at every dental appointment to make sure that they are still in place. Having teeth treated with sealants doesn’t mean you should neglect to brush and floss your teeth. Maintaining proper oral hygiene practices will ensure your oral health stays in tip-top shape.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Call us today at (405) 987-5104 to learn more about sealants and to determine if they are right for you. We are all about keeping your teeth sound and healthy for a lifetime. We look forward to caring for all your dental needs.