If you are particularly prone to cavities or are worried about the health of your child's new permanent teeth, you may be intrigued by the concept of dental sealant. This clear coat of non-toxic plastic is lightly brushed over the back molars to protect nooks and crannies that might not be reached by a toothbrush, particularly for young patients who may not have perfected their brushing technique yet. The procedure itself is fast, simple and non-invasive, and it can typically be performed by a dental hygienist as part of a regular examination. Read on to learn how this quick treatment could save you or your child the pain of a cavity later on.
Exploring How Dental Sealants Work
Harmful bacteria seek entry into the vulnerable tissues of your teeth through their hard enamel exteriors, and if your mouth is healthy, they usually won't succeed. Your teeth, however, are not uniformly smooth, and the back molars in particular are prone to pitting and fissures that may leave them vulnerable. Dental sealants act as a sort of lacquer, covering and sealing those weak points in your teeth with a hard, transparent shell to physically block the progress of bacteria.
Determining Your Eligibility for Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are typically only used in cases where the patient is notably prone to cavities. This includes newly erupted permanent molars, which children often have a hard time brushing thoroughly. There are, however, situations where an adult may also be eligible for sealant. If your teeth have particularly deep grooves, for example, or you have a history of cavity vulnerability, your dentist may recommend a sealant as a precautionary measure. You should also double check that the procedure is covered by your insurance policy, though many patients have no issue securing coverage.
Applying and Maintaining Dental Sealant
Dental sealant is applied as part of a quick and painless procedure, which should only take a few minutes. During this time, your dental hygienist will clean the tooth and prepare it for adhesion by lightly coating it with an acidic substance. This creates tiny, rough pores in the tooth, which allows the sealant to grab hold and remain anchored in place. Then the sealant is brushed into place and allowed to harden. You should be able to chew and speak normally as soon as the hardening process is complete. Your dentist will examine the sealant during routine examinations in the future, and the coating should last for years if applied and maintained properly. If you are concerned about your teeth or your child's teeth, it can't hurt to ask about this simple procedure that could help you avoid unnecessary fillings later on.Share
23 May 2016
My son was outside playing with some friends when he accidentally fell down and hit his mouth on the sidewalk. The fall knocked out his front tooth, so I immediately placed the tooth in a small jar and added some milk. I rushed my son to the dental clinic and the dentist immediately took us into the examination room. The dentist placed the tooth back into the socket and saved it. My name is Beverly Tillman and thanks to the quick work of the dentist, my son didn't lose his tooth. Since this was a scary time for me and my son, I wanted to write this blog as a source of information for other parents who are facing a dental emergency. First of all, don't panic and get to your dentist as soon as possible. I hope this blog will help to answer your questions about dental emergencies.