Sealing Out the Decay
- Posted on: Jan 30 2018
You seal your deck. You may seal your driveway. But what about your child’s teeth? They need some help, especially back in the fissures of the molars, to keep out the bacteria that is the start of decay. To help, we provide dental sealants at Implant Dentistry of Florida.
The problem is that some of us are simply born with teeth that have deep cracks, grooves, whatever you want to call them, in the molars. It’s purely genetic, nothing you can do anything about. But these natural cracks make it extremely difficult to get all the food and bacteria out of them. And when food particles and bacteria are left to their own devices, the result eventually is decay. That’s why many of us older types have cavities filled in most of our molars.
Fortunately, we can bring sealants to the rescue. Sealants effectively fill in these fissures in the molars, particularly those of our young patients, and protect against the development of decay and cavities.
What are ?
Sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. Applied as a liquid, the sealant settles down into the deep grooves in the molars. We then cure the sealant with a special light and it instantly hardens, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.
Who should get sealants?
Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn (and the American Dental Association) recommend that any of our patients who are children and teenagers with even moderate grooves receive sealants. This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed and decay and are without fillings.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants is simple.
- First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
- This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
- Sealant is painted onto the tooth and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during those years when the teeth are developing and are the most prone to developing decay.