Dental sealants are coated over tooth enamel to protect the chewing surface of newly erupted molars from developing decay. This treatment is a form of preventive dental care at Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions in Manhattan Beach, CA, and is available for both children and cavity-prone adults.
The Dental Sealant Process
Some teeth are prone to developing cavities. Dental sealants are used to ward off problems before they begin. Here is how sealants work:
- Preparation: The tooth is isolated so it is completely dry and the surface is roughened to allow the sealant to adhere completely.
- Application: A thin, plastic, non-toxic resin material is painted over the chewing surface in liquid form. Sealants are usually clear or white, which means they nearly impossible to see on a tooth.
- Bonding: The sealant is bonded in place with a special light that hardens the material and creates a protective barrier on the tooth.
- Longevity: Sealants can last for a decade or more with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist for dental exams and teeth cleanings.
This treatment is easy. Application is painless and fast and sealants are a cost-effective measure that helps stop tooth decay and the need for tooth-colored fillings, root canals, porcelain crowns, and other restorative dentistry treatments.
Benefits of Dental Sealants for Kids and Adults
Dental sealants are typically earmarked for children and their newly erupted molars. Kids aren’t known for their excellent brushing techniques, and some have teeth that are prone to cavities because of many ridges and grooves. Sealants help prevent the development of tooth decay and the need for fillings in new adult teeth. Here are just some of the benefits of this procedure:
- Significantly reduces the risk of cavities
- Easily applied during one dental visit
- Prevents the need for costly, advanced dental treatments
- Reduces the chance of toothaches
- Appropriate for any age
Some adults have teeth that require protection from cavities too. Getting sealants protects cavity-prone teeth that are excessively pitted or grooved from turning into decay-filled or infected teeth. Anyone who continually gets cavities would be wise to have a discussion with their Manhattan Beach dentist about sealants and other preventive dentistry measures.
The Right Time to Get Sealants
For kids, dental sealants are recommended as soon as their permanent molars erupt. Over time, the coating brushed over the teeth does wear off, and this may make them more susceptible to cavities. However, this also gives them time to really master their brushing and flossing skills and naturally protect their teeth from trouble.
Adults who regularly find themselves diagnosed with tooth decay or suffering from toothaches should have a discussion with their Manhattan Beach dentist about effective ways to protect their teeth from further problems. Sometimes sealants are the answer, and these can be done at almost anytime. However, extremely sensitive teeth or those with thin enamel may benefit more greatly from customized porcelain crowns which fit over the problem tooth and protect it entirely.
How Sealants Guard Against Tooth Decay
It’s not just tooth decay that sealants guard against, but also bacteria, acids, and plaque. Application of this resin is important for so many patients. Here are just some of the reasons why:
- Tooth decay can occur anywhere but most often appears in the back molars which are the hardest to keep clean.
- The sealants, once hardened on the teeth, form a smooth surface that fully protects the tooth enamel.
- If a tooth is already decayed, a sealant can still be applied but only after the tooth has received a composite filling.
- Sealants are a proactive, preventive way of warding off cavities, just like regular dental visits, professional teeth cleanings, and daily brushing and flossing.
If you or your child keeps getting cavity after cavity, schedule an appointment with Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions and find out if dental sealants can help.
Schedule an appointment with Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions and find out if dental sealants can help.310-340-6663