Protecting Your Teeth & Preventing Tooth Decay with Dental Sealants
What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a plastic layer that is applied to the surfaces of the premolars and molars. These sealants have been shown to be very good at preventing cavities and tooth wear. Sealants perform the best on the rear teeth due to the greater number of nooks and crannies that can allow the accumulation of food residue and plaque.
How Beneficial Are They?
A dental sealant serves as a strong shield against decay and residue build-up. Therefore, it offers full protection against damage. However, the most important factor in the quality of its performance is how effectively it adheres to your teeth. Furthermore, studies have found that when a sealant is applied to a tooth with mild decay, it stops the cavity from advancing. It does this by depriving the tooth-destroying bacteria of their nutrient source, which is the food you eat. A dental sealant is no longer helpful when the contact between the sealant and your tooth is damaged or compromised.
Who's a Good Candidate?
Dental sealants are ideal for children because their newly grown adult teeth are highly vulnerable to decay and get little benefit from fluoride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even recommends that sealants be used as a regular part of preventative care for kids. This should also include the use of plaque removal, fluoride, healthy foods, limited sugar and regular dental checkups. However, all people can benefit from sealants regardless of their age.
Dental sealants also help preserve tooth health. Whenever a tooth receives a filling, part of the original tooth is lost. The CDC states that traditional fillings only last between six and eight years on average and should be replaced after that period. Using sealants in conjunction with fillings saves money and time and can also help minimize discomfort caused by routine procedures.
What is Involved?
This procedure requires that the surface of the teeth be fully cleaned. After cleaning, the teeth are carefully rinsed to make sure the cleaning agent is gone lest it interfere with the sealant application. The teeth are then dried. A substance will be applied all over the teeth that make their surface rough. This will be washed off and the teeth will be dried again. Finally, the sealant is painted on and left to become hard.
With the proper care and maintenance of your teeth, dental sealants can last between five and ten years. If you would like to know more about our dental sealant procedure feel free to contact us today using our online form or call our Dallas office at (972) 457 – 3097 or our Fort Worth Office at (817) 756-7047 to schedule an appointment.