WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS?
IS THERE ANY PAIN INVOLVED?
Dental sealants help protect your teeth from damage and decay. This easily applied treatment is an effective way to shield hard-to-reach grooves in your teeth from bacterial growth and tooth decay. Quick and painless, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t asked about this before!
Simply put, a dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the surface of your permanent teeth. Dr. Lopez or Dr. Vasquez will apply a sealant to help protect teeth, usually your premolars and molars, from exposure to acids and bacteria that would otherwise result in tooth decay. These teeth contain what are known as fissures or grooves where bits of food can get easily stuck, and bacteria can thrive. That said, if you have other teeth that are pitted, grooved, or have such sections that are more vulnerable, they can also be treated with dental sealants.
WHAT DO DENTAL SEALANTS DO?
They create an actual physical barrier on your teeth, adding an extra layer of protection against the various causes of tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, they could help reduce the occurrence of dental cavities in your permanent molars by as much as 80%! If you are susceptible to tooth decay and cavities or don’t have regular access to good dental care, dental sealants can be a real godsend. Dental sealants can either be a composite resin based or a glass ionomer. They can be white, clear, or mildly tinted.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
You might wonder why you need sealants applied to your teeth at all. Aren’t flossing and brushing supposed to take care of the bacteria? The truth is no matter how good you are about brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, and there are parts of your teeth that are hard to get to. For instance, neither your toothbrush nor your dental floss can easily dislodge things stuck in grooves of the teeth at the far reaches of the mouth.
DENTAL SITUATIONS REQUIRING SEALANTS
If you have very deep grooves in any teeth, those can be hard to thoroughly clean as well. The food particles that get stuck in these areas along with plaque can be a breeding ground for bacteria that hasten tooth decay.
DENTAL SEALANTS AND CHILDREN
Dentists suggest that children whose permanent molars and premolars have come in completely should get dental sealants applied to protect against cavities. Kids aged 6 to 14 are especially vulnerable to cavities, and this treatment can go a long way in protecting their teeth.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
A good oral healthcare regimen is the first step to healthy teeth and gums. Using fluoride based products to protect teeth is another way to protect teeth surfaces. But dental sealants offer an added degree of protection for the grooves and pitted sections of the teeth. Remember, sealants are not a substitute for other dental hygiene but an add-on.
Cavities can be a real pain – needing constant attention, cleaning, and repeat trips to the dentist if the decay worsens. Instead, dental sealants can block off the area of the tooth that has the cavity protecting it from further damage.
TREATMENT USING DENTAL SEALANTS
After a routine oral exam, Dr. Lopez will clean up the tooth to which the sealant must be applied in order to prepare it. Next, the sealant is applied in liquid form. To set the sealant, special blue light may be used, or if a two-component dental sealant has been used, it can set on its own without the use of light.
When set, dental sealants create a protective film that has the appearance of a hard plastic varnish. Once it has set, you can use the tooth to chew normally. Just check with our staff at Somi Dental Group on the after-care if any.
CONTACT US TODAY!
If you live in or around South Miami, you’ll find a full range of dental services – including the application of dental sealants – available at Somi Dental Group, located in Miami, Florida. An experienced team of dental practitioners led by Dr. Arnaldo Lopez offers endodontic and cosmetic dentistry services like Invisalign, crowns, veneers, and more.
Visit us today or set an appointment for a later date. The team would be more than happy to help answer any questions you might have about sealants or other treatments you might be considering.