Dental sealant consists of a thin coating of plastic that is applied to the surface of (usually the back teeth) to help prevent tooth decay. The sealant bonds with the format of the teeth itself to protect it, acting as a shield that protects it from tooth decay.
Proper oral hygiene is incredibly effective at protecting the surfaces of teeth in the front of the mouth, but it isn’t as effective at reaching the back teeth due to their own texture and positioning. Sealants are effective at protecting these by sealing out harmful agents.
The best candidates for dental sealants are usually children and teenagers as they are likelier to develop tooth decay in the depressions of their back teeth. Adults without decay or other alterations to their teeth are also great candidates to benefit from sealants.
Typically, the best choice is to apply sealants to permanent molars of children as soon as they come in so that they will benefit from them right from the beginning. These sealants are usually going to last until their teenage years, protecting them from harmful agents for about 6 to 8 years.
It is fairly easy for a dentist to apply sealant to a tooth and the process should only take a few minutes to complete. After the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is then dried and has an acid solution applied to it to help the sealant bond to the tooth. Afterwards, the tooth is rinsed and dried, and finally the sealant is painted to the tooth where it bonds and hardens.
Usually, sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but their expectancy depends on the pressure applied to the teeth. They need to regularly be checked by a dentist as it might chip or get damaged from natural wear and tear. A dentist can replace sealants if necessary.
If you have any questions about your current dental needs or would like to make an appointment, please contact us today!