Dental sealants are coatings that protect the teeth from cavities and decay. This is used to shield the grooves of the teeth, which are also known as fissures. Sealants cover the chewing surface of your permanent molars and premolars from food particles. When these food particles are stuck in between your teeth, they cause acidic reactions that lead to tooth decay.
Why are dental sealants applied on teeth?
The grooves on the molars and premolars of the teeth are susceptible and vulnerable to decay. The fissures make it hard for the toothbrush bristles to reach and clean. As a result, plaque accumulates in this area and the acid from the bacteria can erode the enamel of the tooth which develops cavities.
The use of fluoride prevents decay and protects all the surface of the teeth. However, dentists perform dental sealants procedures to give extra protection to these pitted areas. Sealants smoothen the grooves, making it easier for the patient to remove food particles and prevent tartar build-up.
How are dental sealants applied?
Preparation of the tooth
First, your dentist cleans the surface of your teeth that need the sealant. He will use a cleaning paste paired with a rotating brush to thoroughly remove the food particles. This effectively removes any plaque build up on the grooves and surface of your teeth. Next, he polishes the surface of the molars and premolars and removes plaque build-up from the fissures of your teeth. Then, he isolates and dries the tooth.
The dentist etches the surface of the tooth. Then an acidic solution or gel is placed on the pits of the chewing surface for a number of seconds before being rinsed off. This creates small microscopic pores, making room for the dental sealants to stick to your teeth. Your dental hygienist will apply the sealant material to the grooves of your teeth with a brush. Finally, he dries your tooth again with a curing light to harden the dental coating.
The final expected step in dental sealants procedure is to evaluate and check the occlusion. This will help your dentist identify if the application of the sealant is suited for your need. Once the dental coating procedure is done, the coating becomes a hard plastic varnish. This will allow you to chew again without the worry of plaque accumulation on the grooves of your teeth.
Will the dental sealant procedure hurt?
Most patients worry about the pain associated with having dental sealants applied on the surface of their teeth. It is understandable to anticipate any pain associated with any type of dental procedure. However, the dental sealant application is totally painless. The liquid coatings are painlessly applied to each of the teeth that need sealant. Also, the application only takes a few minutes which already includes the drying and the light curing process.
How long does a dental coating last?
Apart from your regular oral hygiene routine, having dental coatings also protect your teeth from damage. Since 1970, teeth sealants has been proven effective in preventing decay and plaque accumulation from the fissures of the teeth. Today, more dentists strongly recommend dental sealants procedure to their patients to prevent decay. These sealants will protect your teeth for up to 10 years with proper care. It’s also replaceable which makes it a vital step in protecting your teeth from decay and dental diseases.
Schedule your visit today and see your local dentist to know more about the dental sealants cost. Also, you can ask if they offer sealants for free when you avail of other dental services such as oral prophylaxis.