What are Sealants
A sealant is a plastic type of material that is bonded into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay.
How do Sealants Work
In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny grooves in their teeth. When a sealant is applied, the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach and clean. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is a lower risk of tooth decay.
What are The Life Expectancy Of Tooth Sealants
The longevity of sealants can vary. Success depends on many factors, such as patient cooperation. Sealants that have remained in place for three to five years are considered to be successful. Our office will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.
Which Teeth should be Sealed
The most common teeth for a dentist to seal are a child’s “back” teeth (molars and premolars). The recommendation for sealants should be considered on a case by case basis.
How are Sealants Placed
Generally, the procedure takes just one visit. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned and dried. The sealant is then placed into the grooves of the tooth and hardened with a special blue light. In some cases, the sealant is buffed down. All normal activities can occur directly after the appointment. Sealants are an easy and effective way to prevent cavities.
How Important is Brushing and Flossing after Sealants are Placed
It is just as important for your child to brush and floss their teeth. Sealants are not 100% protective against tooth decay.
When used topically fluoride has been shown to prevent tooth decay, especially in young children. Under our supervision we will help you determine whether your child it suitable to be using a fluoridated toothpaste. Every child should recieve fluoride treatment at each recall dental visit. We use special techniques to ensure that the fluoride remains on your child’s teeth and is not injested.