Hickory Dentists Explain Why Dental Sealants Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities

Both adults and children can benefit from the application of dental sealants by a cosmetic dentist. Sealants are a clear, or off-white plastic varnish that is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. In particular, the surfaces are the top most part of molars. This varnish is safe and non-toxic after application.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Dentists often recommend the use of a dental sealant on the molars to prevent cavities from developing. Sealants are more commonly used on children, because they are prone to developing cavities on the chewing surfaces of their molars. These surfaces have lots of fine crevices that children have a hard time cleaning out when brushing.

Adults can also benefit from this type of preventative dentistry. This treatment may be recommended for adults who have unusually shaped teeth or deeper crevices that are not easily cleaned out without special care. Over time, food particles and bacteria can build up in those crevices and create caries, or cavities.

An In-Office Procedure

There is no need to worry about the use of needles. A cosmetic dentist can easily apply sealants during a regular appointment. The process for applying dental sealants is fairly straightforward and without pain.

  • The dental assistant will thoroughly clean and dry the tooth surface.
  • A mild acid is applied to the tooth enamel to help roughen it. This makes it possible for the sealant to adhere properly.
  • The sealant is applied to those rough surfaces in liquid form.
  • A special blue light is used to harden the sealant.

Sometimes, the sealant is actually a two-part epoxy that can be hardened without the use of a special light. After the procedure, patients should be able to start chewing normally. They may notice that the area where the sealant was applied feels slightly raised. However, and experienced cosmetic dentist will be able to minimize that effect. It will gradually diminish over time as the varnish wears down a little.

How Long Does it Last?

This bit of preventative dentistry results in a very durable protective surface. Sealants may last as long as 10 years before wearing away completely. However, it may be necessary for the dentist to touch up any areas that start to chip or wear off. Before that can happen, you need to halt the progress of cavities now by making that appointment with the dentist.