Pediatric & Orthodontics Dentist - Las Vegas, NV
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to thoroughly clean removing all bacteria and food. As bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from depositing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars, premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years, but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Applying Dental Sealants
The dental sealant application is easy, comfortable, and completed within just a few minutes. Your dentist will first clean and dry the tooth to prepare for the sealant application. Next, the sealant will be painted on and will flow into the pits and grooves of the tooth’s chewing surface. The application is completed by drying the sealant onto the tooth with a special light. This application typically takes place during a regular cleaning or exam appointment, and your child will be able to eat after the application. Your child’s dentist will check the sealants during their bi-annual cleaning to ensure the sealants are still effective or to see if they need repair or reapplication.
Benefits of dental sealants
Sealants are used to fill up the small grooves or fissures in your back teeth, keeping food and bacteria out and preventing decay.
There are several benefits to using sealants. They:
- are white or clear
- fill and block up the small pits and grooves in the teeth to prevent decay
- take a few minutes to apply
- do not cause pain
- do not require you to have any injections or drilling
- do not dissolve in saliva
- are safe.
Sealants usually last from two to seven years, but may last much longer. Sealants need to be checked regularly by your oral health professional.