At Smile Center Silicon Valley, our dentists recommend dental sealants to patients who are more prone to developing tooth decay. A sealant is a thin plastic coating that seals out decay-causing bacteria, preventing them from building up on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
The molars and premolars are the two most common teeth treated with dental sealants. Because these teeth have deep pits and grooves that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, they are the most difficult to keep clean. Therefore, they are also more prone to developing tooth decay. By filling these indentations with a protective barrier of resin-based sealant, patients can rest assured that their teeth will be less likely to develop cavities.
The Procedure for Dental Sealants
The procedure for applying dental sealants is straightforward and comfortable for the patient. After your teeth are cleaned and dried, a special solution is used to roughen their surface. This solution helps the sealant material bond to the tooth. Then, the tooth-colored material is brushed onto the tooth's surface and carefully applied to fill in all of the tiny crevices and grooves where bacteria like to hide.
The material hardens quickly and creates a smooth surface over the previously uneven surface of the tooth. This effectively closes off the biting surface of the tooth to prevent bacteria from building up.
Why Are Dental Sealants Used?
Dental sealants are a preventative step that can be taken to protect teeth from decay and cavities. They are usually placed on children’s adult molars. That’s because this set of teeth has pits and grooves that make cleaning more challenging. As a result, these teeth are often cavity-prone and need extra help to prevent damage.
Sealants provide additional protection to teeth that are at risk for decay due to various factors, including plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene habits. Even patients who brush and floss regularly may need to place a sealant on certain teeth, as a toothbrush can’t always reach the small crevices and pits on the teeth’s surfaces.
Sealants usually last for a few years before needing to be replaced or touched up. During this time, they efficiently help to protect your smile as long as you continue to practice good oral hygiene at home. Regular flossing and brushing will help to keep the oral cavity clean and free of debris so that no form of bacteria can grow and cause damage. It’s common for patients who get sealants to have healthier smiles overall, so they’re less likely to need fillings, dental crowns, and other restorative treatments down the road.
For more information about the benefits of dental sealants and how they can help protect your child’s or your smile, visit Smile Center Silicon Valley at 877 W. FREMONT AVE, SUITE L3, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, or call (408) 245-7500.