What are dental sealants? Sealants are a thin plastic coating that is used seal the pits and fissures so that no bacteria has access to grow in the tooth. These dental sealants are a protection for the tooth’s health, because they are used to seal out both food and plaque. The number one candidates for these dental sealants are kids and teens, because of the likelihood of obtaining tooth decay at a young age. Not only are kids and teens candidates for these sealants but also adults can benefit from obtaining sealants as it works as protection for the pits and fissures.
Dental sealants are an easy and fast treatment. The sealant will be painted on the grooves of the occlusal part of the tooth enamel, as it bonds with the tooth it will create a wall that will protect the grooves( pits and fissures) of all the chewing surfaces. The sealants acting as a barrier will keep plaque and sticky food away from the chewing surface of the tooth. This prevents future caries on the teeth. This is a perfect preventative measure to avoid dental decay. The cost of the sealants it’s less than a one surface dental filling.
The procedure for dental sealants is very fast and painless. The procedure begins with a regular cleaning (prophylaxis) making sure there is no plaque on the chewing surface of the tooth, then the tooth is dried and some etch is placed, this roughens the surface so that the sealant material can bond to the tooth. The etch is left for about 20 seconds and then is rinsed with water, after the etch the sealant is placed on the pit and fissures of the tooth, a curing light is then used on the sealant material, this will set the sealant. The occlusion is then checked to make sure the occlusion is normal.
Dental Sealants are not for all patients. Dental sealants are only applicable on teeth that don’t have caries or existing dental fillings. Sealants are mostly placed on molars and premolars, there are some exceptions were they are place on the lingual part of an anterior tooth (front teeth). This is only when the lingual part of the tooth is deep and is prone to caries. The best way to see if you’re a candidate for dental sealants is to schedule a dental exam. If you have any questions you can always contact your friendly staff at Smiles on Bristol Dentistry.