All You Need To Know About Dental Sealants
Once you develop permanent teeth, they should last a lifetime. However, this requires routine dental visits as well as good oral care. And while regular brushing and flossing are the best ways to curb cavities, it’s always tough to effectively clean every single part of your teeth, particularly your molars. After all, molars tend to be rugged, uneven and the most common place for leftover food as well as cavities to thrive.
Besides regular cleaning and flossing, you may need further dental treatments to help safeguard the health of your teeth, ensuring that they last as long as you need them. And one such dental treatment is dental sealants.
But what are dental sealants?
Simply put, a dental sealant is a thin coating made from plastic or any other dental material that is applied to your teeth’s chewing surfaces, particularly your back teeth; molars, and premolars. It’s worth noting that sealants shouldn’t replace regular brushing and flossing. However, they may not only keep cavities at bay, but can also prevent initial decay symptoms from worsening.
Research shows that sealants can potentially minimize tooth decay by at least 80% in molars. This is particularly crucial when it comes to your child’s oral health. In 2016, the CDC established that only 43% of school-going children aged between 6 and 11 had dental sealants. According to the same report, school children that don’t have dental sealants have at least three times more cavities compared to those who have. If you don’t know much about sealants, continue your reading and get to know more about these important dental devices.
So, how do dental sealants work?
Dental sealants are strikingly similar to a raincoat in terms of how they function. The cavity-causing bacteria live in the mouth of everyone. When this particular bacterium feeds on food particles left on your teeth’s surface, it results in the production of acids that trigger the formation of teeth cavities. When applied to your teeth’s surface, a sealant acts as a barrier between your teeth and bacteria and acid.
Are dental sealants suitable for me?
Even though both children and adults can have sealants, it’s highly recommended that you have them at a younger age. The first molars usually appear around age six, and the second ones will appear at 12 years. It is imperative to note that you need to seal these teeth immediately after they begin to develop to ensure they become cavity-free right from the beginning, which should save you significant amounts of cash in the end. You should consult your local dentist to help determine whether sealants are an option for you.
So, how are they applied?
Dental sealants are generally very easy to apply. It is a fast and pain-free procedure that only involves the dentist effectively cleaning and drying your teeth before putting an acidic gel on your teeth. The function of this gel is to boost your teeth’s overall texture and help create a lasting bond between your teeth and the sealant. Your dentist will rinse off the gel, and dry your teeth a second time before ultimately placing the sealant onto your teeth’s surface. Thereafter, your dentist will use a specialized device to toughen up the sealant.
Can sealants be applied over cavities?
Yes, sealants may be applied in areas of your teeth where there are early signs of decay to help protect them from further damage. And with clear sealants, your dentist can easily monitor the tooth to gauge whether the sealant is working or not.
Do sealants have any potential side effects?
Currently, as things stand, there are no known negative effects associated with dental sealants. However, some patients have reported experiencing an allergy!
Is there BPA in sealants?
Yes, there is a negligible amount of BPA in sealants, which is not sufficient to trigger any harm.
So, what is the lifespan of dental sealants?
As already explained, dental sealants will serve you for an extended period before you may have to replace them. During your routine dental visits, your dentist will assess the overall condition of your sealant and may reapply them if needed!
If you’d love to see a dentist, we would be happy to assist you. Give Paul Mansky Dental a call today! We are located in Troy, Michigan, and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!