Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are put onto the chewing surface of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. They are primarily used to protect premolars and back molars. The pits and grooves on your teeth are hard to clean. Having a sealant on your teeth makes the surface smooth and allows easy cleaning. As implied by their name, sealants protect your teeth by sealing them and preventing cavities and infections.
Dental sealants are generally used at a younger age to get the best results. Children and teenagers have relatively newer teeth than adults. That is why sealants are more effective when applied to the teeth at a young age.
Why Dental Sealants Are Applied?
The top surface of premolars and back molars is mostly used for chewing food. These chewing surfaces have grooves that can accumulate plaque. It damages the enamel and deepens the grooves, ultimately creating a cavity.
The most effective way to deal with this problem is to seal the surface of the teeth. That way you will not have any plaque sticking to the teeth. They act as an extra layer of protection in areas that are hard to clean.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
The first step is thorough cleaning and drying of the tooth. Secondly, your dentist will apply an acidic gel to make your tooth surface slightly rough, this will make it easier for the dental sealant to adhere to the surface. This acidic gel is then rinsed off from the tooth, and the surface is tried once again. n the final step, the liquid sealant is applied onto the tooth which is then hardened with the help of blue light. All in all, the procedure is completely painless and takes very little time.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Following are some of the key benefits of using dental sealants to protect your teeth from decay.
- The process is quite simple. It is a preventive treatment that takes very little time and you don’t have to go through a lot of discomfort like many other dental treatments.
- The sealants fill up the small pits and grooves in your teeth. They prevent food from sticking into the surface of teeth and damaging the enamel.
- These coatings are generally transparent or white. They do not affect the appearance of the teeth, neither do they dissolve in saliva.
- Dental sealants can help you prevent tooth decay for about 10 years.
What Is The Right Age For Dental Sealants?
Most dentists recommend applying dental sealants as soon as the first molars and the second molars appear in your kid. Generally speaking, kids as young as six to seven years old can have their teeth sealed through this process.
But are dental sealants just for kids? Not at all. There is a common misconception that only children and teenagers can benefit from sealants. But the truth is, you can have them at any age. According to the American Dental Association, dental sealants can be applied in adults when there is a risk of tooth decay and cavity formation. Although they are temporary and need to be replaced every five to 10 years, they still do a pretty good job protecting your teeth.
Cons of Dental Sealants
While there are many benefits to dental sealants, there can also be some potential problems associated with them.
- In case of poor execution, dental sealants can be applied without properly cleaning the grooves in the first stage of the treatment. This can result in cavity formation.
- When sealants are replaced, excess material from the teeth may also be removed or drilled down.
- The bite can feel abnormal after the application of sealant ‘cause there is an extra layer on the teeth.
*Neither this nor any other content in this media is meant to prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. We highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition.