Dental sealants are used to protect pits and fissures present in molar teeth. Dental sealants are made of a protective material that is applied to the chewing surface to stop plaque and bacteria from accumulating in those spaces. As a result, they play an active role in preventing tooth decay.
Dr. Stephen Moore, DDS, will often recommend this treatment for children as it can protect their adult teeth from cavities for a longer time. However, we also offer dental sealants to adult patients as even proper brushing and flossing cannot always effectively remove the food particles stuck in pits and fissures. Dental sealants can complement your good oral hygiene routine and protect your teeth, especially if you are at a high risk of developing cavities.
The Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants protect the enamel layer of the molars from plaque, bacteria, and food particles that may get stuck in the tooth’s pits and fissures. Sealants seal those areas so food particles and plaque can’t accumulate. This helps prevent eventual more serious problems like dental cavities.
Types of Dental Sealants
At Grand View Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer two types of dental sealants to our patients based on their specific dental needs.
- Resin-based sealants – This type of sealant is used by most dentists as it promises the most longevity. The resin-based sealants are cured with ultraviolet light and contain fluoride, which promises better protection for longer.
- Glass ionomer sealants – Made from glass ionomer cement (GIC), GIS bonds to the tooth once cleaned. Though less popular, they are less sensitive to moisture. They also contain fluoride, protecting your teeth from tooth decay.
The Longevity of Sealants
With good care, sealants can last for a decade or more. Traditionally, they last about five years. Compared to other dental bondings treatments, sealants are more vulnerable to wear and tear because they are applied to the chewing surface. Once applied, they should be regularly inspected by the dentist to make sure no bacteria or plaque get trapped beneath the sealant as that can lead to tooth decay.
What to Expect During the Procedure
First, the surface of the tooth is cleaned and dried. No anesthetic is needed at this point of the process. Next, if required, an acidic solution is applied onto the surface of the teeth to roughen the enamel so the sealant can firmly bond with the tooth. For resin-based sealants, saliva is kept away from the tooth with the use of a dental dam placed around teeth to keep the teeth dry. Finally, the sealant is either dried using a curing light or left to dry on its own.
If you or your child require the application of sealants to prevent dental caries, contact Grand View Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at 920-996-0123 and let us help you. You can also visit our office at 381 South Kools St, Appleton, WI 54914.