Fri, Feb 23, 2018
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Sealants

Sealants

Sealants are thin plastic fillers that are utilized to fill in deep grooves (called pits and fissures) on the top surface of the teeth to protect them from decay.  Sealants prevent food and bacteria from forming in the hard to brush areas.

The American Dental Association recommends applying sealants to permanent molars as they erupt.  See erupted charts for ages permanent teeth develop.

Sealants are available in clear, white, or slightly tinted to ensure the sealants are not noticeable when you speak.

Reasons for Sealants

  • 75% of dental decay begin in deep grooves, filling the grooves acts as a barrier to protect enamel from plaque, acids, and food particles
  • If you have a genetic disposition to decay, sealants are highly recommended as an extra barrier
  • Sealants help prevent discoloring of grooves and teeth

Process

Sealants are a single visit procedure.  First the teeth are cleaned and checked for any signs of decay.  Next a gel is applied to the tooth for a few seconds to help the sealant bond with the tooth.  The gel is washed off and the teeth are dried.  Cotton is applied around the tooth to keep it dried while the sealant is carefully applied.  The sealants required several minutes to completely dry.  A special light maybe utilized to help with the drying process.

Sealants are not just for kids, adults may benefit from their preventive characteristics as well. As we age sealants "may wear off" requiring reapplication.  During regular cleaning and exams the dentist or dental hygienist will let you know when the sealants need to be reapplied.

Sealants are only a portion of complete preventive plan, proper brushing, flossing, fluoride treatments, balanced meals and regular cleanings and exams all are necessary to help you in the prevention of dental disease.

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