What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are simple gel coverings that are applied to the surfaces of your teeth. Even if you brush your teeth and floss every day, it can be difficult to keep food and other particles out of the deep grooves in your molars. Dental sealants act as a barrier to stop things from getting stuck in the grooves of your teeth. Usually dental sealants are most beneficial on the larger teeth at the back of the mouth. The sealant will be applied to the chewing surface to help keep your teeth cleaner.
Who can benefit from dental sealants?
Adults can certainly benefit from dental sealants, but children are ideal candidates for this treatment. Once your child’s molars have grown in it is wise to have dental sealants applied. The sooner dental sealants are applied, the easier it is to prevent tooth decay. If you’re an adult who is interested in dental sealants, ask your dentist about how your teeth need to be prepared.
What should you expect?
The procedure to apply dental sealants is relatively simple and pain free. First your dentist will check your mouth to see if there are any existing problems. In some cases, a filling may need to be performed before sealants can be applied.
If there are no problems with the teeth, they’ll be professionally cleaned to prepare for the treatment. Then your teeth may be prepared with a special mouth rinse that helps the sealants stick to the chewing surface of your teeth. Once the teeth are prepared, the resin will be painted directly onto the teeth. A special light will be used to harden the sealants and keep them in place.
Once they’ve been applied, dental sealants can last for many years. The specific timeframe will depend on the amount of wear and tear they withstand and your oral hygiene habits.
If you’d like to learn more about dental sealants, schedule a consultation with Dr. O’Brien.