PROTECT YOUR TEETH FROM DECAY
Dental sealants do an exceptional job of preventing cavities
The biting surfaces of the molars (back teeth) often have deep grooves and depressions, so deep, in fact, that when food particles and plaque lodge there, it’s difficult for even conscientious brushing and flossing to dislodge them. If they remain trapped, the food particles and plaque give rise to harmful bacteria, and the bacteria, in turn, produce cavities. Dental sealants prevent this by creating a protective coating on top of the biting surfaces. Food particles and plaque never get into the deep depressions to cause problems.
Dental sealants are particularly recommended for adults with especially deep grooves and depressions in their teeth and for many children. When sealants are applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth as soon as they erupt from the gums, a child may never have to deal with cavities at all, and the quick, pain-free procedure ensures that most young people undergo it without anxiety or distress. (Please note, though, that dental sealants don’t eliminate the need for a daily oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits. Children should receive fluoride treatments as well.)
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating typically applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars and sometimes pre-molars.
Why are Dental Sealants Used For?
Deep grooves and depressions in a tooth can trap food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing won’t easily dislodge. The trapped material can give rise to harmful bacteria and tooth decay. A tooth sealant provides a barrier that keeps the food particles and plaque from getting trapped in these deep grooves and therefore greatly decreases the chance you will develop tooth decay.
How are Dental Sealants Applied?
Application is simple, painless, no anesthesia necessary, and only takes a few minutes per tooth. First, the teeth are cleaned. Next, a gel is applied to the surface of the teeth. Once it dries, the mouth is rinsed and dried again. Finally, the tooth sealant is painted onto the tooth and may be cured with a special dental light.
There’s no drilling or elaborate preparation, and the sealant itself doesn’t cause irritation or have an unpleasant odor. Because dental sealants are clear or slightly tinted, they’re effectively invisible. Patients who run their tongues over sealed teeth may notice a slight difference in texture (although many do not), but the teeth are still smooth, and the difference isn’t unpleasant or uncomfortable.
How Long do Dental Sealants Last?
A tooth sealant typically lasts five to ten years. As you’d expect, bad habits like chewing on pencils or ice can wear them down faster just as they stress your natural teeth enamel. Your dentist will monitor the condition of dental sealants during the patient’s regular checkups and will advise him or her when tooth sealants should be reapplied.
Who’s a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Just as anyone can get a cavity, both adults and young people can benefit from tooth sealants. Adults & children alike with deep ridges in their teeth may find them especially beneficial.
Children and Dental Sealants
Children often receive sealants to prevent tooth decay. Because of the quick and painless nature of the procedure, they rarely mind it. Dentists recommend that the tooth sealant is applied to both primary (“baby”) teeth and secondary (“adult”) teeth as soon as they erupt from the gum. This minimizes the chances of cavities ever getting started.
Are Dental Sealants a Complete Solution for Oral Hygiene?
It’s still important to maintain a daily routine of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash and a regular schedule of dental cleanings and checkups. That’s partly because the tooth sealant only coats the chewing surface of the tooth. It doesn’t cover the front, back, or sides. These remain vulnerable to plaque, bacteria, decay, and infection. Children, in particular, should still receive fluoride treatments to strengthen their teeth and fight tooth decay.
With all that said, dental sealants are an extremely effective method of preventing oral problems. They also increase the chance that you will have all your teeth for the rest of your life. By preventing cavities and other dental issues, they can avert pain and the marring of your smile. They also help you avoid the need for extra dental appointments and costly treatments leaving more money in your pocket.
Quick Summary of Dental Sealants
- Thin coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth
- Highly effective against tooth decay on biting surfaces
- For adults and children
- Quick, painless procedure
- Effectively invisible and do not produce discomfort
- Last several years
We invite any and all Elmhurst residents to visit our state-of-the-art family dentistry practice and discuss whether tooth sealants are a good option for them. We’re here to help you.
ELMHURST DENTAL SEALANTS
Kopp Dental Offers the Best in Cutting-Edge Dental Treatment
Kopp Dental is proud to offer our Elmhurst patients dental sealants as part of our suite of state-of-the-art treatments. We invite you to contact our team of expert dental professionals today to find out if dental sealants are right for you.