What Do Dental Sealants Do?

What Do Dental Sealants Do?

Has your dentist talked to you about getting dental sealants? You may think this is only for children, but this treatment can benefit your oral health as well. If you have not ever had sealants, or have not had them for many years, it is helpful to learn more about this process. A general dentist can apply a sealant to certain teeth. It is also a good idea to chat with your dentist about this procedure if you have questions or concerns.

Cavities and their causes

Of all the oral health conditions that a general dentist treats, cavities are among the most common. Cavities are holes that form in a tooth due to tooth decay. When bacteria form on teeth, they attack the enamel layer, causing deterioration of the tooth. The cavity can grow and eventually reach the root, threatening the entire tooth.

Poor oral hygiene habits are a significant cause of cavities. From the time a person starts getting teeth, brushing twice a day is vital. Daily flossing will also protect teeth and reduce the risk of decay. These activities eliminate bacteria as well as the buildup of plaque and tartar. Eating and drinking a lot of sugary foods and beverages can also increase the likelihood of a person having cavities.

A description of dental sealants

A dental sealant is a thin coating that a general dentist will paint on the biting surface of a patient’s tooth. It is made of plastic and generally goes on molars and other back teeth. As soon as the dentist puts on the sealants, they will quickly bond to the grooves and impressions of the teeth. The purpose of a sealant is to act as a protective layer for the tooth against decay and other invaders.

Candidates for sealants

Dentists usually recommend that young patients get dental sealants. Children are prone to getting cavities because of their sometimes sugary diets and ineffective brushing habits. Dentists will put sealants on the molars and premolars as soon as these teeth fully come through. Teenagers can also suffer tooth decay frequently, so the dentist may advise people in this age group to have sealant treatment.

It is not unusual for adults to get sealants too. People who frequently get cavities are good candidates. The dentist can help determine whether it makes sense for an adult patient to get sealants. Even people who brush regularly may want this extra form of protection for their teeth.

The process

The patient will lie in a chair, and the dentist or hygienist will start by thoroughly cleaning the teeth. After drying the teeth, the dentist puts a piece of cotton around the teeth to make sure they stay dry. The dentist then uses a solution to make the teeth rough. After rinsing and drying the teeth, the dentist applies the sealant and cures it with light so it will harden quickly.

Another step to preventing cavities

Sometimes, brushing and flossing are not enough to keep cavities away. There is still something else you can do to fight decay. Talk to your dentist about dental sealants. You could be a good candidate for this treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://familydentistphoenix.com or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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