The chewing surfaces of our back teeth are ideal spots for decay to foster. This is because they are not smooth and have pits and grooves in them, which can trap food particles and bacteria. Your toothbrush cannot reach these places and this can cause cavities and decay.
Sealants are a thin, invisible coating of plastic material that is painted onto the pits and fissures of the back teeth to prevent decay. They are mostly used for children. This is because children’s newly erupted permanent teeth are more prone to decay as the enamel is still developing. The use of sealants can reduce the chances of tooth decay by up to 70 percent, preventing the need for expensive restorative treatments and allowing you to save the health of your natural teeth. They are long-lasting and can protect your teeth for up to 10 years.
Applying sealants to the teeth is a simple process. They can be considered as mini fillings of plastic, with the exception that they are applied “before” decay has occurred. First, the teeth are examined for any signs of decay. If found, decay is removed and then the teeth are cleaned and dried. An etching material is applied to further roughen up the tooth surface, allowing the sealant to bond properly once it dries. The etching solution is then rinsed off, the tooth is dried again and the sealant coating is applied to the teeth. Once the sealant dries, we check if all the grooves and pits have been successfully sealed, after which you can go home.
One must brush and floss properly and take care of their oral hygiene after getting their teeth sealed. It is important to visit our office for regular examinations and professional cleanings, during which we will check your sealants for wear and tear and reapply them if needed.
For more information about dental sealants, please call our office at (847) 469-4340.