Understanding Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic films that your dentist paints on the chewing surfaces of your teeth to protect existing enamel and prevent cavities. While you may think they’re only for children, studies have shown that they can be an effective treatment for adults too.

Effectiveness of dental sealants

A dental sealant properly applied by your dentist can be 100% effective at protecting tooth surfaces from cavities as long as they remain intact. Intact dental sealants prevent bacteria and small food particles that lead to cavities from reaching the surface of your teeth.  If part of or the entire bond between the sealant and tooth breaks, this reduces the sealant’s effectiveness. However, studies show that previously sealed teeth are no more likely to suffer tooth decay than teeth that never received sealants so it can be worth the investment for the extra protection.

Dental sealants as part of good oral hygiene

Brushing and flossing daily are essential for good oral hygiene as they remove plaque and food particles from the teeth, but it’s still difficult to reach the teeth’s grooves, depressions, and uneven surfaces. By covering these tooth areas with a dental sealant, you’re protecting your entire tooth and preventing the intrusion of bacteria and food in hard to reach areas.

Dental sealant application

Applying dental sealants is a quick and easy in-office procedure. Your dentist cleans your teeth, roughens the chewing surface slightly to help the sealant adhere and then paints the plastic sealant film on each tooth. The sealant bonds directly to each tooth and harden, sometimes with the help of a special curing light. Dental sealant application is painless and achievable in one quick dental visit.

Longevity of dental sealants

With proper care and no damage to the dental sealant, it can last several years before your teeth require reapplication. Dental sealants are durable under normal chewing force, and the risk of tooth decay decreases dramatically after proper application. Your dentist checks the condition of the dental sealant at your regular visits and reapplies it if or when necessary.

Good candidates for dental sealants

While children receive the best benefit from dental sealants on their newly erupted permanent teeth, sealants are also effective for adults. Patients with grooves and pits on the uneven surfaces of their teeth benefit from sealants as they prevent decay in those difficult to clean areas.

Chianese Dental offers dental sealant treatments as an added form of protection against tooth decay. Contact our offices today to learn more about the benefits of dental sealants for children and adults.

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