Dental sealants stop problems before they start. That’s why at Atlantic Dentistry, we recommend dental sealants for all of our patients. After all, who wants to deal with dental issues if they can help prevent them instead? With just a quick coating on the most at-risk portions of your teeth, dental sealants provide protection from decay and preserve the beauty of your smile.
Why Use Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are used because of how your teeth are formed. Both molars and premolars have little areas on their chewing surfaces where food and other debris can become trapped. These deep spots are not always easily cleanable with a toothbrush and can cause bacteria to linger. This bacterial plague can collect over time, ruining the integrity of your enamel, and causing the tooth to die when it makes its way to the dental pulp. Back teeth are further at risk because of the pressure put upon them for our most intense chewing.
For these reasons and more, we at Atlantic Dentistry recommend the use of dental sealants to safeguard your teeth. Dental sealants create a smooth tooth surface that bacteria can’t hide in, and are super easy to clean.
Who is a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Atlantic Dentistry recommends dental sealants for all of our patients, no matter the age group. Certain segments of the population can especially benefit from their application. Adults can certainly benefit from dental sealants, as they can help protect back teeth from the need for fillings. Patients that already have fillings or other cases of tooth decay are unfortunately not eligible for sealants.
The biggest beneficiaries of dental sealants however are children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 14. This age group is the most susceptible to dental issues and therefore have the most to benefit from dental sealants. Usually sealants are not applied to baby teeth unless children show signs of being more susceptible to tooth decay and then it's used as a precaution to save baby teeth and prevent problems in the future.
How are Dental Sealants Placed?
The easiest answer on how dental sealants are placed is, easily! First, our dentist will clear away any debris that's on your teeth including food and plaque. Next, the tooth will be dried and slightly etched so that there's a rough surface that the sealant can stick to. The sealant itself is a sort of putty that is added in layers to the surface of your teeth. We will use a curing light to make the material stiff and bond itself to the surface. Finally, once the sealant hardens, we will check to make sure your bite is comfortable and make adjustments as needed.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
With proper care, dental sealants can last for about a decade. You should still get them checked regularly to make sure you are taking good care of them and that there are no issues to be found. This involves continuing your daily dental cleaning routine and seeing us for regular dental exams to stay on top of things.
If you would like more information, or to schedule your next appointment to check on your sealants, call us today at 904 717-0335.