There are tips, tricks and tools that can help you have a healthier smile. Taking advantage of preventive steps can save you money, time in the chair and further damage. At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, we offer dental health education along with preventive treatments to help, this includes the application of dental sealants to protect your teeth from decay.
What Are Dental Sealants?
The application of dental sealants is still a somewhat new preventive treatment, but has been around long enough to see the results of long term studies and work out the issues. Dental sealants are a protective plastic that we can paint onto the most vulnerable areas of your teeth to sheild those spots from exposure to bacteria.
Our teeth are wonderfully designed to help us chew and break down food for consumption. The design of our teeth naturally comes with pits and ridges to assist in this chewing process. The downside of their design is that sometimes there are areas that food can become easily trapped or be difficult to clean. It is in these spots that patients are most prone to the development of disease and cavities. By predicting the trouble spots and then sealing these tiny areas with dental sealants, we attempt to reduce or even prevent the incidence of disease occuring.
Dental sealants can provide extra protection for the most vulnerable spots by smoothing out the occlusal surface. Sealants make it harder for debris to become lodged and makes it much easier for you to brush and clean. Additionally, sealants cover that portion of the tooth from harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Who Qualifies For Dental Sealants?
We can apply sealants to any patient who has a need for them. This includes all of our young patients who have grown their first permanent molars through adulthood. The ADA acknowledges that minor aged children and teens are still in a learning phase for proper oral hygiene. While in this learned phase, we can assist them by protecting the areas of their teeth that are most suseptible to the development of decay.
In addition to children and teens, we can apply dental sealants to any adult who has shown a propensity to the development of decay and could use assistance in protecting their teeth. There are multiple reasons a patient may have difficulty in keep these areas clean, including some teeth ridges can be so small that even tooth brush bristhles can’t fit or clean properly.
The Application Of Dental Sealants
Applying dental sealants is painless and fast. The process begins with a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums, we want to reduce the amount of potentially harmful bacteria in the area. With the mouth now clean and dry, we then apply an acidic solution to the area that the sealant is being applied. The acidic solution roughens the enamel just enough to allow for better adhesion of the sealant material. The sealant is then painted with a small brush over the occlusal surface in liquid form. One in place, we harden the material with an ultraviolet curing light setting it permanently in place. Your now dried and hardened sealant material will stay in place, it can withstand the standard pressures of chewing and brushing.
Your sealants are durable, on average, they can protect a tooth from decay for upwards of ten years though we can always reapply as needed. During your future checkups we will review their status and may suggest touchups or reapplication if needed.
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to learn more about the dental sealant process, call (425) 738-8476, and schedule an appointment!