Dental sealants are almost exactly what they sound like- a protective barrier (or sealant) that can help reduce your risk of cavities by up to 80 percent. Dental sealants are especially common for children aged 6-12, who may be at a higher risk of developing cavities and needing fillings. Essentially, dental sealants are a shielding measure applied by your dentist to your molars or back teeth. They can even be beneficial for older adults who may be prone to cavities and tooth decay. If you have been considering having dental sealants (either for you or your children), we will address below some of the most common questions and their answers.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin coating of plastic and other dental products applied to the grooves and crevices of your teeth (the chewing surface) to keep cavities away. Dental sealants act as a defensive barrier and are most often applied to back teeth or molars when the teeth have fissures that could pose a risk for potential decay. This way, harmful bacteria will be blocked from lodging themselves in the tooth and causing issues. Dental sealants are applied by a dentist quite easily and are moulded to the teeth so that there is no concern that they will come loose or be removed. The material that makes up dental sealants is usually clear or tooth-coloured to blend in seamlessly when applied to the teeth.
Who Can Get Dental Sealants?
While children who have just gotten their permanent teeth are the most common patients for the procedure, older adults can also get dental sealants. Regardless of age, you can have this procedure done. If you would like to inquire more about it, remember to speak with your dentist to see if this treatment is right for you. Your dentist will advise you accordingly and ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.
How Long Do They Last?
One of the great things about dental sealants is that they can last a long time. They can even last as long as your natural teeth! However, if they become damaged or worn out, your dentist can easily replace them without any hassle.
Once you discuss with your dentist and arrange for applying dental sealants, your dentist will walk you through the simple procedure. They will first have to ensure your teeth are cleaned thoroughly and dried. The first step will be to use an acidic wash on the tooth to make sure that the sealant will bond with the surface of your tooth.
The acidic solution will dry, and then after that, the dental adhesive can be applied. The sealant is a liquid applied onto your tooth and set to cure with the appropriate light, which your dentist will use. After the sealant has dried and you can bite down properly, the procedure is complete. All in all, the entire process should only take a few minutes, and it is entirely painless. Patients who undergo this treatment usually require no downtime and can go back to regular activities or work right afterwards.
Aftercare and Maintenance
Luckily, dental sealants don’t require any special aftercare or maintenance after they have been applied. They are bonded to your teeth and should be treated just as you would treat your natural teeth! This means maintaining oral hygiene, brushing and flossing regularly.
After your dental sealants are applied, you may notice the unusual sensation of something foreign between your teeth when biting down. If this is the case for the first few days, please remember that this is completely normal. It will take some time to get used to, and soon enough, the issue will resolve itself. However, if the problem persists longer than a couple of weeks, you may need to follow up with your dentist to make some adjustments for your comfort.
Without Dental Sealants
Ultimately, teeth without dental sealants are at a higher risk of developing cavities and being exposed to harmful bacteria, plaque and build-ups of tartar. This is especially true if the teeth in question have existing fissures or crevices on the chewing surface, which bacteria can easily accumulate into. Just like regular dental cleaning, sealants are an added measure of protection to help prevent tooth decay.
Having dental sealants applied to your molars or back teeth is a simple, painless procedure that can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. Even as an adult patient, dental sealants can benefit you and help preserve the condition of your teeth. Furthermore, your insurance company may offer coverage for dental sealants, so it is worthwhile to look into it. After all, who wouldn’t want fewer cavities and more protection for their teeth?
For more information on dental sealants in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental at 905-712-3409 or contact us here.