Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay occurs most often.
How does a sealant help prevent decay?
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to reach food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Beautiful stone surfaces in kitchens and baths are sealed to protect against moisture and acids; this is to keep them attractive and useful. Seams in kitchen counter tops are sealed to prevent materials from seeping underneath and causing damage. All of these sealants are used to protect. So, why would you NOT want to seal your teeth?
Is sealant application a complicated procedure?
Here at Serenity Smile Designs, sealants are easy for to apply and only take a few minutes to seal each tooth! The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned by the hygienist. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then ‘painted’ onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. A special curing light is used to help the sealant harden. Sometimes if the grooves of the teeth are real deep, Dr. Erik Mendelsohn has to place them after opening up the area.
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, Dr. Erik Mendelsohn will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Sealants are just for kids, right?
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well! Most of the time sealants are only covered under insurance for children, but Dr. Erik Mendelsohn recommends them to anyone who does not have any current decay on molar or pre-molar teeth. This is a quick and easy appointment that does not require any Novocain. Please call Dr. Erik Mendelsohn at Serenity Smile Designs right here in Egg Harbor Township with any questions about sealants.
Key ingredients in preventing tooth decay and maintaining a healthy mouth are twice-daily brushing with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste; cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners; eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks; and visiting Serenity Smile Designs regularly. Ask Dr. Erik Mendelsohn about whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program.
To learn more about dental sealants or to schedule an appointment, please call (609) 646-1989.
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