Oral Health Protection for Young Smiles
At Luck Dental Clinic, we understand the importance of preventive dental care for our youngest patients and strive to provide the highest level of expertise and personalized care. Dental sealants can protect their teeth from cavities and bacteria to help ensure a healthy smile. Led by the experienced and highly skilled Dr. Morgan Clemenson, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These teeth have grooves and fissures that can easily trap food particles and bacteria, making them more prone to cavities. Dental sealants act as a shield, sealing off these vulnerable areas and creating a smooth surface that’s easier to clean and less likely to develop decay.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
There are several benefits to getting dental sealants, including:
- Cavity Prevention: Dental sealants provide a barrier against bacteria, acids, and food particles, reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
- Protection for Vulnerable Teeth: The molars and premolars are susceptible to decay due to their deep grooves and hard-to-reach areas. Sealants provide extra protection for these teeth, ensuring their longevity and minimizing the need for future dental interventions.
- Improved Oral Hygiene: Dental sealants create a smooth surface on the teeth, making it easier to brush away plaque and maintain good oral hygiene.
- Cost-Effective: Dental sealants are a cost-effective preventive measure. They’re generally less expensive than treating cavities and undergoing dental restorations.
- Painless and Non-Invasive: Applying dental sealants is a quick procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia or drilling. It’s comfortable for patients of all ages.
Candidacy for Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can benefit children and adults but are especially recommended for children. Children’s teeth are more prone to cavities due to their developing oral hygiene habits and vulnerability to sugary foods.
However, adults with deep grooves and fissures on their teeth may also benefit from sealants. Dr. Clemenson will evaluate their teeth and determine if dental sealants suit their oral hygiene needs.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
Dental sealants create a physical barrier on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where deep grooves and fissures are prone to trapping food particles and bacteria. The sealant material is typically a tooth-colored resin applied as a liquid and then hardened to form a protective coating.
- Preparation: Before applying the sealant, Dr. Clemenson will clean and dry the tooth surface to ensure proper adhesion.
- Application: The sealant material is carefully painted onto the chewing surfaces of the targeted teeth. It flows into the pits and fissures, effectively sealing them off.
- Bonding: To ensure the sealant adheres firmly to the tooth surface, Dr. Clemenson may use a curing light. This light activates the sealant material, causing it to harden and bond securely to the tooth enamel.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best age for dental sealants is typically during childhood when the permanent molars and premolars erupt. This usually occurs between ages six and 14. Applying sealants early on can provide long-lasting protection and prevent cavities in these vulnerable teeth.
Dental sealants can last for several years with proper care. On average, they can last between five to 10 years, but it depends on factors such as oral hygiene practices, the condition of the sealant, and individual differences. Regular dental check-ups will allow your dentist to assess the sealants and determine if any reapplication or touch-ups are needed.
The cost of dental sealants can vary depending on the number of teeth being sealed, the dental practice’s location, and any additional treatments required. Check with your dental office for specific pricing information and to inquire if insurance coverage applies.
Dental sealants and fillings serve different purposes. Sealants are preventive measures to protect teeth from cavities, especially in hard-to-reach grooves and fissures. They act as a barrier against bacteria and acids. Fillings restore teeth that have already experienced decay or damage. Your dentist can assess your child’s dental needs and recommend the appropriate treatment option for you.