Dental sealants are one of the most effective methods for preventing cavities and decay on the biting surfaces of a person’s back teeth. Consisting of a thin layer of acrylic that is painted directly upon the teeth, dental sealants work by blocking off deep pits and fissures that are present upon the surface of a tooth. Once applied, sealants establish an effective barrier that protects the enamel of a tooth from bacteria and acids.
Nearly 75 percent of all tooth decay exists within the deep grooves and fissures found on back teeth. These areas are very difficult to reach, even with proper brushing and flossing habits. With dental sealants, these rough surfaces can be smoothed out, making them easier to clean. If cared for properly, dental sealants are designed to last for several years.
Dental sealants are popular options for children and teenagers who are still developing correct methods for brushing and flossing. Baby teeth, which often feature deep grooves and fissures, are great candidates for dental sealants; however, many adults also use dental sealants to protect their back molars.
Applying Dental Sealants
The application of dental sealants requires only one visit and the process only takes a couple of minutes per tooth. First, the tooth that is designated for sealing is dried and cleaned thoroughly. Using a cotton swab, the tooth is kept dry throughout the procedure. Next, the surface of the tooth is roughened using an etching solution. This allows the sealant coating to easily bond with the tooth.
Once the tooth has been adequately roughened, the etching solution is rinsed off, and the tooth is re-dried. At this point, acrylic sealing is painted onto the tooth and allowed to fully dry. The dentist will ensure that the tooth has been properly sealed and that all deep grooves and fissures are blocked off.
If you would like to learn more about dental sealants and how they can be used to protect your teeth from cavities, please call us at (201) 384-0100 to schedule an appointment.