Composite Dental Sealant
A dental sealant acts as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Other than proper, daily oral hygiene, dental sealants are one of the most successful ways to prevent tooth decay.
A 2016 guideline panel states:
- sealants are effective in preventing tooth decay
- sealants minimize the progression of initial lesions
Because our teeth have natural recesses, or grooves, as well as fissures and cingulum pits on their biting surface, food gets stuck in these places and tooth decay is the result. Dental sealants fill these areas, creating a smoother surface that is easier to clean.
Typically, dental sealants are used on the adult molar’s (located in the back of the mouth) of children who are susceptible to tooth decay. Placed as soon as the adult molars come in, the sealants preserve the high quality of the tooth’s surface while preventing plaque and acids from attacking the enamel, creating cavities. Sealants are used in the back of the mouth where decay is more common.
Dental sealants are easy and simple to apply:
1 – the surface of the tooth is cleaned and dried
2 – a gel is applied that creates a roughness to the tooth, so the sealant has something to adhered to
3 – the tooth is rinsed and dried
4 – A blue light is then used to solidify the sealant on to the tooth.
5 – the sealant is brushed onto the surface of the tooth
6 – the sealant fills in the grooves, pits and fissures, creating a smoother surface
7 – the sealant bonds to the tooth and hardens
Dental sealants are durable enough to withstand the daily force of normal chewing and biting, and can last for years. Sealants do need to be reapplied about every 10 years.
Sealants are amazingly cost efficient because of the time and money saved from repairing a damaged tooth. Children are relieved to receive this procedure, knowing further treatments on a tooth are no longer necessary.
When people think of sealants, they typically think of children, but adults can also have dental sealants placed on teeth that are susceptible to tooth decay. The reason adults don’t have this procedure done is because of the fact that insurance companies usually only cover the cost of a sealant for a child, but an adult is often required to pay out of pocket. The thinking being that, by the time adulthood is reached, the surface of the adult teeth has smoothed out. This isn’t always the case, which is why more adults agree to this preventative measure when an issue with tooth decay arises.
At Midtown Dentistry, we counsel families, all the time, on whether a child, or an adult, is a good candidate for sealants. Then, the appointment is set and the fear of a decaying tooth is eliminated.
Contact Midtown Dentistry today, at (918) 743-8539, and let us see if we can save you time and money by applying sealants to any of your teeth-in-need.