Dental sealants are comprised of a thin layer of plastic material that is painted over the surface of a person’s back molars. They are highly effective in blocking harmful bacteria and acids from accessing teeth and causing damage. This makes sealants an outstanding treatment method for preventing cavities and tooth decay. Additionally, sealants also work to smooth out the deep grooves and fissures that are found on one’s back teeth, thereby making them easier to clean and maintain.
It is estimated that nearly 75 percent of all tooth decay exists within the deep grooves and fissures that are commonly found on a person’s back teeth. Even with proper brushing and flossing techniques, these areas are very difficult to reach. This makes these locations a perfect environment for oral bacteria and plaque. By smoothing out these surfaces with dental sealants, we can make these areas substantially easier to maintain. This will go a long way towards preventing cavities and other forms of tooth decay.
Many children and teens receive dental sealants as they develop their brushing and flossing habits. In particular, baby teeth are usually great candidates for dental sealants since they often feature noticeably deep grooves and fissures.
Dental sealants can be applied in just one visit to our practice. The quick and easy procedure usually only requires a couple of minutes per tooth. The process starts by thoroughly cleaning and drying any tooth that is going to be sealed. Next, we use an etching solution to roughen the outer surfaces of these teeth so that the sealant coating will be able to bond more easily. We then carefully apply the sealant coating, making sure that the teeth are fully sealed and that all of the deep grooves and fissures are entirely blocked off. When dental sealants are maintained properly, they should remain intact for up to ten years.
If you would like to learn more about how dental sealants can protect teeth, please call our office at (773) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment.