Dental sealants are coatings made of plastic that fill the chewing surface of molars and premolars to prevent decay. Back teeth like molars and premolars have grooves in them. Food can easily get caught in these grooves and cause decay. This is why a majority of cavities happen in these areas. These grooves are called fissures. Fissures are difficult to clean and can easily build up plaque. When they are filled with sealants, they are more protected. With the exception of a possible allergic reaction, there are no side effects of dental sealants.
Why try them?
Because back teeth are the main teeth used for chewing and they have these grooves, it’s common for food to get caught in them. When a dental sealant fills these grooves, they protect teeth from potential cavities. Food cannot get caught in grooves that aren’t there. And if the food does it caught in sealants; it will not decay your teeth. Sealants last for years and can be reapplied when needed. Studies have shown that sealants can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay. Though brushing and flossing are extremely important and very beneficial to your dental health, cavities can still make their way through. Along with good dental hygiene, dental sealants can help you to maintain your oral health.
When are they placed?
When permanent molar teeth appear, sealants can be placed. Once children have received their molars, they can benefit from sealants. Dental sealants will protect their teeth and help them to avoid decay and potential cavities. Sealants can also be placed on adult teeth, though it is not as common. Adult with deep grooves that do not already have sealants or fillings, can get sealants to help them avoid decay as well. Anyone can benefit from sealants, but the earlier on you get them the more you will benefit from them.
How are the placed?
Teeth are thoroughly cleaned by a hygienist to prepare them for sealants. The teeth will then be washed and dried. Next, a solution is placed on the surface of the tooth for a few seconds, then rinsed off. The liquid sealant is then poured into the tooth and hardened. The hardening usually happens under blue light. Once the sealant has hardened, it is like hard plastic, a varnish coating on the teeth that will not affect chewing. Sealants last for years, they can also be replaced when needed. Most sealants are tooth colors, but they can also be clear.
If you’re interested in dental sealants and what they can do for you, contact us at Fort Union Family Dental. We can help you to prevent tooth decay and maintain your oral health. Your insurance may even cover the cost. Come see us!