If you have teeth that are more susceptible to cavities, Aaron Cooley, DDS and Brandon Cooley, DDS at Cooley Smiles may recommend you get dental sealants to preserve your tooth health. A dental sealant is a thin coating of BPA-free plastic that is applied to the chewing surface of your molars and premolars. This layer adheres tightly to your teeth and adds an extra layer of protection to your enamel against the acidic attack of bacteria.
How Can Dental Sealants Preserve Tooth Health?
The chewing surface of your molars and premolars has pits and grooves which can trap food. These cracks are relatively deep and narrower than the bristles of your toothbrush so you may not be able to adequately clean them. As a result, plaque will accumulate inside these teeth and cause tooth decay, leaving the soft inner pulp vulnerable to bacterial infection. Your back teeth are particularly vulnerable to breakage since they exert a lot of pressure and can experience more wear and tear than your other teeth. Using dental sealants can protect these teeth from the harmful effects of bacteria. Dental sealants are often used in conjunction with fluoride treatment which fortifies the enamel and protects it from erosion.
Who Are Candidates for Dental Sealants?
The most likely candidates for dental sealants are children between the ages of six and 14. That is because, during this stage of life, children have a tendency to eat sugary, acidic foods and also are not always very concerned about their oral hygiene. Fortunately, dental sealants are an effective preventive measure that can prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are also good options for adults who are at high risk of dental cavities. Dental sealants may also be placed on primary back teeth if they have developed deep fissures. Since the health of the baby teeth directly correlates to the health of the permanent teeth, it is important that they remain infection-free and are not prematurely lost; otherwise it can have a long-lasting impact on your child’s dental health.
What Does a Dental Sealant Process Involve?
Placing sealants on your teeth is a quick, painless, and non-invasive process. At Cooley Smiles, we will first clean and polish the surface of your teeth to remove any debris or plaque on it. We will then score your enamel slightly so that it roughens. This is done so that the sealant can adhere tightly to your teeth. We will then apply a layer of sealant on your tooth with a brush. To dry the sealant, we will shine a curing light on it that will accelerate the bonding process. Once your dental sealant is hardened, we will make final adjustments to it to make sure you can bite on it comfortably.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Your dental sealant can last for 10 years; however, they may chip or wear so it is important that you get them checked regularly. Chipped or worn away sealants can be reapplied. If you are concerned about getting cavities, getting dental sealants is a good preventive measure. Based on the health of your teeth, we can help you determine if a sealant is a good option for you. Call us at (425) 249-3509 to schedule an appointment with us today.