If you’re looking for the ultimate protection for your teeth, consider dental sealants. You may have gone into your dentist and had them offered to you or your children but were unsure what they were. Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of teeth. Dental sealants are the first line of defense against tooth decay, as the sealant bonds to the tooth and form a protective shield for the enamel of each tooth.
Some people get dental sealants confused with fillings. Fillings are used to restore teeth after tooth decay has already caused a cavity. Dental sealants are used as a preventative tool to shield against decay and protect against cavities. The purpose of dental sealants is to cover the deep grooves where tooth decay typically starts. Bacteria in plaque live in these grooves and produce acid, which is the main cause of tooth decay. The protective plastic in dental sealant can help prevent plaque from building up on the enamel surface.
You may have some questions, and we’d love to answer them! Here are some of the most common questions we get about dental sealants.
Do having dental sealants placed hurt?
No! Having dental sealants places is one of the quickest and painless dental procedures there is. In fact, having a dental sealant can help prevent cavities and future pain!
What is the best age to have dental sealants placed?
It’s a great idea to consider having a dental sealant placed on your child’s teeth as soon as their permanent molars and premolars come in. Dental sealants are a great option for protecting your child’s teeth from the cavity-prone years of age 6 to 14.
Does that mean adults can’t get dental sealants?
No, dental sealants are also great options for adults who don’t have tooth decay or fillings already. If as a child you had dental sealants placed, you may need to have your sealants replaced anyways!
How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants can last up to ten years with proper care. Generally, dental sealants will gradually wear away from teeth over time. Each visit, your dentist will check the sealant to make sure they are not wearing away.
Having dental sealants placed is a simple, pain-free procedure that can help prevent tooth decay down the line. Typically, when sealants are placed, your dentist will clean your teeth to make sure that there is no plaque or food in the grooves that will be covered with the protective plastic shield. After cleaning the teeth, your dentist will spread “etching” gel area the dental sealant will be placed to ensure that the protective coating bonds properly with each tooth. The dental sealant itself is then applied with a small brush or using a mini syringe to squirt into place. Only a small amount of sealant is placed each tooth to cover grooves and fissures in teeth. Your dentist will then set the sealant with an ultraviolet curing light. Think of this as a dental flashlight that will help harden the sealant for a lasting protection from decay. The entire process generally takes between five to forty-five minutes, depending on the number of teeth that need to be sealed.
Don’t let not knowing about dental sealants scare you away from having your teeth sealed! This easy pain-free procedure can help prevent cavities and decay down the line for you or your children! Give us a call at HPS Advanced Dental Care at (248) 652-0024 to schedule an appointment today!