Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are either clear, white or have a slight tint. They are used to protect teeth from decay. They are usually placed on the top of the chewing surface of the back teeth. Our back teeth, or molars and premolars, have particularly deep fissures/grooves on their surface. This makes these teeth difficult to clean.
When they are not sufficiently keep clean, bacteria and plaque can build up in the fissures. The bacteria releases acids that break down the tooth’s enamel and causes cavities. Dental sealants essentially seal off these fissures to prevent any plaque and bacteria build up from occurring, and make the chewing surface easier to clean.
This treatment is usually performed on children when the chewing surface of the first molar tooth has erupted above the gum line. Molars and premolars continue to erupt until the age of eleven or thirteen. Each of the chewing surfaces of these teeth can be sealed after they have erupted beyond the gum tissue.
They are usually placed on the back teeth, but can be placed on other permanent teeth that have deep fissures. Your dentist will be able to advise if you need dental sealants on more than your molars.
Adults can also benefit from dental sealants, although the treatment in older persons is not common.
The process of getting dental sealants only takes a few minutes and if virtually painless. Your dentist will clean your teeth with a paste and rotating brush. Your teeth will be rinsed and dried before having an acidic solution placed in the fissures of the prepared teeth. This solution is only left on the teeth for a few seconds to create a rougher surface for the dental sealant to adhere to.
Now that your teeth are fully prepared, the liquid dental sealant is poured into the fissures of the teeth and hardened by a special light. The finished product is a hard plastic varnish coating over the back teeth, which doesn’t feel any different from the surfaces of your natural teeth,
and allows you to immediately chew on the tooth after the treatment.
Dental sealants can last many years and can be replaced if the sealant becomes damaged. They are a great way to ensure you or your children are not at risk of developing cavities and tooth decay at the back of your mouth. For more information or to book an appointment, contact Arizona Advanced Dental.