What is Dental Sealant?
Plastic coating that is placed on the chewing surface of teeth is called dental sealant. Typically the sealant is used for premolars and molars to ensure no decay can affect them. Sealants must be applied by a professional dentist. Before making an appointment for sealants, check with your local dental office to ensure you are a candidate for sealants.
Is dental sealant really necessary?
Premolars and molars have grooves in them, also referred to as fissures. The grooves in these teeth make them vulnerable to tooth decay which can lead to cavities. Sometimes the fissures are difficult to clean because they are deep and can be thin. Without sealant, plaque may accumulate affecting the enamel and cavities may follow. Dental sealants protect the top of the teeth and it provides a smooth surface over the grooved area. But it is still necessary to use Fluoride to protect the entire tooth from decay. Sealants are an affordable way to prevent dental problems that may occur in the future.
Are sealants just for kids?
Typically when the first permanent molar tooth pokes through the gums and the chewing surface is exposed is when the first sealant is placed. Generally this occurs in kids between the ages of eleven and thirteen. From then on, any molars or premolars are fair game for dental sealants. A local dentist may recommend sealant for ‘baby teeth’ if they feel it would provide a better start for the permanent teeth.
But sealants are not just for kids. Anyone can have grooves or fissures in a tooth and they would benefit from the sealant as well.
What is the procedure for sealants?
The very thing that will occur is a good cleaning of the tooth and the area that will be sealed. After the tooth is washed and dried a solution is applied to make the surface of the tooth rough, so the sealant will stick. Then the tooth is washed and dried again. Next the liquid sealant is placed on the surface of the tooth hardened with the help of a specialized light or a two-step sealant is used that does not require the use of a light. The sealant will dry into a hard plastic coating.
Check with your local dental clinic to see if you might be a candidate for dental sealant.