Dental sealants are a safe, effective, and painless way to help prevent plaque build up, tooth decay, and cavities in children.
What are dental sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin, clear coating that is applied to the back teeth (molars) that helps prevent tooth decay. Sealants are a preventative treatment that lower the chances of developing cavities in the deep chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Since these grooves, pits, and fissures are narrow and difficult to clean with a toothbrush, especially for children whose motor skills aren’t yet developed, they’re some of the areas that develop cavities first.
By placing sealants over chewing surfaces, we essentially create a shallower area that’s smoother and easier to clean with a toothbrush. That way there’s little to no residual bacteria left inside of the grooves following your typical brushing routine.
What is the procedure for dental sealants?
Applying sealants is quick and painless. No need to worry—your child won’t experience any pain.
Dr. Stark or Dr. Juhn cleans the teeth where the sealants will be applied, lets them dry, and places cotton around the teeth to keep them dry. After that, they roughen the chewing surfaces just enough so the sealant adheres to each tooth. The teeth are rinsed and dried one more time, then the sealants are applied. Once applied, the sealants bond directly to the tooth and hardens.Read More: Pediatric Dental Sealants
How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants can protect teeth for up to 10 years. Their lifespan can vary, but many last for years—and it is possible to place a new sealant on a tooth if the sealant wears off. At each checkup, your pediatric dentist examines any dental sealants to ensure they are protecting the teeth as they should. If there are any chips, cracks, or excessive wear on a sealant, we will apply a new one.
It is important to note that sealants only protect the surface of the tooth they are placed on. Using fluoride and other preventative cleaning practices will still help protect all the surfaces of the tooth from decay and cavities.Learn More About Fluoride Treatment
Who qualifies for dental sealants?
Sealants are designed for healthy teeth that have yet to develop cavities. In most cases, they’re placed on permanent molars shortly after they come in (around the ages of 6 and 12, respectively). However, adults can choose to get sealants too. It may be that their childhood sealants came off or they’re starting to develop cavities in other teeth for the first time.
Investing in affordable dental sealants can help prevent more extensive (and expensive) oral health treatments in the future.
Questions About Dental Sealants?
If you have more questions about dental sealants, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further. You can also request an appointment or see the other services we provide using the links below.