Dental sealants are a preventive dental treatment that involves applying a thin, protective coating to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). These teeth have deep grooves and pits that can be difficult to clean properly, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. Dental sealants act as a barrier, sealing off these vulnerable areas and preventing bacteria and food particles from getting trapped in the crevices.
Dental sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay by up to 80% in the first two years after application!
The first step involves cleaning the teeth thoroughly. The dental hygienist or dentist will use a prophylaxis paste and a rotating brush or rubber cup to clean the teeth, removing any plaque or food particles.
Once the teeth are clean and dry, the dentist will isolate the teeth that are going to be sealed. Isolation is crucial to keep the teeth dry during the application process. Cotton rolls or a dental dam might be used to keep the teeth dry and saliva-free.
The chewing surfaces of the teeth are then etched with a mild acidic solution. This solution roughens up the surface of the tooth, creating a better bonding surface for the sealant. After applying the etching gel, it is usually rinsed off, and the tooth is dried again.
Once the tooth is dry, the dentist or dental hygienist applies the sealant onto the grooves and pits of the tooth surface. The sealant is a liquid resin that quickly hardens when exposed to a special curing light. It flows into the deep grooves and hardens, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Once the sealant has been applied, your dentist will evaluate its placement and make any necessary adjustments. Finally, the teeth will be polished to ensure a smooth and comfortable bite.
Dental sealants provide an extra layer of protection for your teeth by sealing off the deep grooves and pits. This helps to prevent bacteria and food particles from getting trapped. By acting as a barrier, dental sealants protect your teeth, ensuring they remain healthy and free from the harmful effects of decay over the long run.
With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dental sealants can last for several years. They provide durable protection against tooth decay, giving you peace of mind and saving you from potential dental problems down the road.
The process of applying dental sealants is quick, non-invasive, and painless. There is no need for drilling or anesthesia, making it an ideal preventive treatment for both children and adults.
Dental sealants can be beneficial for adults who are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay.