Over the last several decades, many new strategies have come into play for treatment against dental decay as well as for the protection of the teeth and gums against unnecessary diseases. One of these breakthrough treatments involves dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Designed to offer protection for the teeth against the development of decay, dental sealants are recommended treatments for children. They provide a protective covering that coats the surface of the teeth, helping to keep dental decay from occurring. Dental sealants are made from plastic, and they have a clear coloring so they blend in quite naturally with the color of the teeth to which they are applied.
Why Use Dental Sealants?
Because of the many grooves found in children’s teeth, they are highly susceptible to the development of cavities. In particular, the molars and premolars are the most at risk due to the number of pits and fissures they contain. Even proper brushing cannot always prevent decay from forming in these nooks and crannies of the teeth.
In order to prevent the cavities from occurring, dental sealants are placed on the pits and fissures found naturally in children’s teeth, particularly those between the ages of four and seventeen. The presence of dental sealants helps to prevent debris from getting caught in these grooves as well as aiding in stopping bacteria from growing and leading to serious decay that merits fillings, crowns, or extractions.
Are Dental Sealants Permanent?
Unfortunately, dental sealants are only temporary solutions since they do not last forever. The natural wear and tear caused by chewing, brushing, drinking, and grinding the teeth eventually makes the sealant disappear and/or fall off. Therefore, the application of sealants is typically repeated at regular intervals to protect the teeth. While it is possible for dental sealants to last for several years, this is dependent upon the care the individual takes with their teeth as well as whether or not they eat sticky foods, drink sugary drinks, or chew gum.
How Are Dental Sealants Put onto Teeth?
In order to have dental sealants placed on your teeth, they must first be properly cleaned. Next, the teeth are dried and a mild acidic solution is applied in order to enable the bonding of the sealant onto the teeth. Next, each tooth involved in the procedure is painted with a thin layer of sealant. Once the coating is applied, a high-intensity curing light is used to harden the sealant.