Dental sealants are plastic films that are placed on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. They are a highly sought-after general dentistry technique for preventing tooth decay or cavities. They’re most effective on the back teeth because they have more hard-to-reach pits and grooves that houses food debris and bacteria. Therefore, dental sealants prevent the build-up of excess food particles and protect the teeth from being attack by acid.
Because dental sealants shield the teeth from decay and bacteria, they provide 100% protection as long as they’re taken care of. If a part of the bond between the tooth and the sealant is damaged, the sealant becomes ineffective and should be replaced by a new one immediately. The great aspect about dental sealants is that even if a cavity begins developing, a dental sealant will block further growth and prevent future decay. The sealant cuts off the nutrient supply that the bacteria feed on to grow, which allows the teeth to remain strong.
Dental fillings have often been used for individuals who’ve experienced cavities, but they only last for a few years. Whenever more filling is applied, the tooth loses more of its structure, which is why dental sealants are an excellent alternative option because they strengthen the teeth, not weaken them.
The CDC recommends dental sealants as part of a preventative care method for children since their new permanent teeth are the most at risk for cavity development. Young adults can also benefit from dental sealants.
A dental professional will first clean the surface of the teeth, rinse any remaining cleaning residue, and then dry the teeth. Next, they will apply an acid solution or gel to the teeth to roughen up the surface. They will then let the solution set for a few seconds before rinsing and drying. Lastly, they will apply the sealant and harden it with a curing light. With proper care, dental sealants can last for up to ten years.
There are two types of dental sealants: glass ionomer and composite resin. When glass ionomers set in the mouth, an acid-based reaction occurs. Composite resins are set in the mouth by using a dental curing light that creates a polymerization reaction. Depending on an individual’s needs, a dental professional will apply an appropriate sealant option to produce the best results.
At McBride Dental, we offer dental sealants as a preventative care method to help our patients keep their teeth healthy and strong. By coming to our office twice a year, we can perform a thorough examination and provide different solutions to prevent or treat tooth decay and other oral complications. If a sealant needs repair, our facility has the resources to easily replace them so that the mouth stays protected and healthy. If you’re interested in dental sealants, call 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment today.