Dental Sealants: Protecting Your Teeth from Cavities
Preventing cavities is a common part of dental care. Regular cleanings and proper at-home oral hygiene can both go a long way toward stopping the formation of tooth decay. Yet there are other general dentistry services available that can go even further than regular cleanings, allowing you to smile with total confidence.
The team at our Garden City, NY dental care center would like to consider the use of dental sealants as a way of fighting cavities. As you’re about to learn, they can effectively prevent cavity formation for several years.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a type of plastic resin that are applied to the biting surfaces of the teeth. The sealant protects the small fissures and grooves of a tooth, creating a protective barrier between the tooth enamel, food, and beverages. By preventing this contact, dental sealants stop tooth decay from even starting to develop.
Which Teeth Are Sealants Used On?
Go ahead and look in the mirror and open your mouth. Do you see the flat, textured surfaces of your premolars and molars? Those are the teeth that are treated with dental sealants. Dental sealants are used most often on people’s permanent teeth rather than their baby teeth.
What Do Dental Sealants Feel Like?
Dental sealants don’t feel like anything at all. The layer applied to the teeth is very thin, and doesn’t change your tooth’s ability to feel pressure or temperature. In addition, dental sealants do not alter the taste of food or drinks.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Good candidates for dental sealants are people who may be more prone to developing tooth decay than others. Patients can get dental sealants placed as young as age 6. In fact, they’re very common among people between the ages of 6 and 14, an age range when cavities are most likely.
Don’t let the young patient age discourage you. Adults can get dental sealants as well to protect their teeth from tooth decay for years at a time.
The Procedure for Getting Dental Sealants
The procedure for placing dental sealants is rather simple and straightforward.
- The teeth are given a thorough cleaning
- The biting surfaces of the teeth are completely dried
- A gentle acidic solution is applied to the biting surface of the teeth to create a slightly rough enamel texture, which improves the tooth’s ability to support the sealant
- The tooth is rinsed and dried one more time
- The dental sealant is painted directly onto the biting surface of the molar or premolar
- The resin may be exposed to a special light to assist with the drying process
All of the above is done in just a few minutes.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants usually last for up to 10 years, with repeat treatments possible as needed. During regular dental exams, your dentist can check any sealants for chips, cracks, or damage, making fixes when required.
Learn More About Dental Sealants
For more information about dental sealants and whether or not they are the right option for you and your needs, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Louis J. Buono and the entire team here at Garden City Smiles will be more than happy to address all of your concerns.