When it comes to preventing cavities and other oral health problems, there is no substitute for daily brushing and flossing. But a dental material called a sealant can also help protect teeth against cavities and possibly stop the progression of early tooth decay so it does not develop into a cavity.
Who Is a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Dr. Chris McDonald of McDonald Family Dentistry believes that dental sealants are not necessarily for everyone; certain symptoms may preclude a patient from having the treatment. However, for the right candidates, sealants can be a quick, easy and cost-effective way to guard against tooth decay.
Sealants can be beneficial for adults without decay or fillings in their molars. They can also be particularly useful for children. Cavities are very common among children and if left undetected or untreated, cause pain, infection and problems with chewing and speaking. But sealing molars as soon as they come in helps keep them healthy from the start. A report from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that school-aged children without sealants have nearly three times more cavities than children with sealants.
An Effective Way to Protect Against Cavities
Cavities are permanent holes that develop in the teeth. We have cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths, and when it comes into contact with leftover food particles, it produces acids. These acids eat away at tooth enamel, creating tiny holes.
The most common spots for cavities to develop are the grooves and crevices of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Placing a physical barrier over the chewing surfaces of these teeth keeps food particles out and prevents bacteria and acid from getting into the nooks and crannies.
Tooth Sealant Treatment Details and Results
The process of getting a sealant is quick and easy. It does not hurt at all.
First, the tooth receiving the sealant is cleaned. A special gel is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth to lightly roughen it up so the sealant better adheres. Once the gel is rinsed off and the tooth is dried, the sealant material is painted over the chewing surface of the tooth. A special light may be directed at the sealant to harden it.
There are no side effects to getting sealants. You might be able to feel a sealant right after it is placed, but you will quickly get used to it. Sealants can be clear, white or slightly tinted.
Sealants usually last for a few years before needing to be replaced. During dental exams, sealants are checked to ensure they are still intact. If the sealant wears down, it can be easily reapplied.
Learn More About Dental Sealants
Dr. McDonald and the entire team at McDonald Family Dentistry are your best resources for information about protecting your teeth from decay and disease. We would be happy to evaluate you for sealants and determine whether you could benefit from them.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. McDonald, we invite you to contact our team at McDonald Family Dentistry by calling or sending us an email today.