Food easily gets trapped in the chewing surfaces of teeth, particularly on the back molars. These are the areas where the toothbrush does not reach, hence, difficult to maintain their cleanliness. The remains of food particles on the grooves form a plague, and the bacteria are sustained from the food particles to form acids. The acids eat up the enamel that results in a cavity. The sealants are meant to protect the enamel from breaking down. If you or someone you love has deep ridges in the teeth, dental sealants would be a lasting solution for maintaining optimal oral health. The Downey Dentist has what it takes to protect your teeth and free them from cavities.
Dental Sealants Overview
Dental sealants, also known as pits and fissure seals, are a thin tooth-colored acrylic coating that is brushed on the grooves of premolars and molars. The reason for applying to the grooves is to protect the enamel from decaying and form cavities. Its application is fast, simple, and painless. They hold up well under the force of normal chewing and last for long before a reapplication is required.
The first step in maintaining your oral hygiene is brushing and flossing. Additionally, a combination of both sodium fluoride supplements and regular check-ups is the primary cavity protection method. The methods are not entirely immune to damages since some teeth can't be reached. However, bad habits, such as opening bottles using teeth, nail-biting, and teeth grinding, damages the tooth enamel. For a durable solution, go for Dental sealants that are minimally invasive and are almost invisible on teeth.
Dental sealants are very safe and have no side effects whatsoever. One can get minor allergic reactions after a sealant application, but it is nothing to worry about. The feeling fades away fast on its own. They are affordable and easy to maintain. Consult The Downey Dentist and have the cavities and decay occurrence reduced. Also, get professional advice on the suitability of dental sealant for you or your little ones.
Types of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants operate as a protective barrier to prevent natural tooth surfaces from trapped food particles and bacteria build-up. Thus, preventing dental caries and decay. The sealant materials are broken into two main categories based on the type of reaction that takes place as they set in the mouth. They include:
These types of sealants have undergone an evolution over several decades since they started being used. They had a bad reputation due to the presence of Bisphenol derivatives (BPA) in them. According to the American Dental Association, breathing can expose someone to BPA more than dental sealants. Hence, resin-based sealants are suitable for your oral health.
Glass ionomer Sealants
They contain fluoride and are less moisture sensitive. It bonds to the dentine and enamel after being cleaned with polyacrylic acid conditioner.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants
Both children and adults are eligible for dental sealants. However, the earlier you get them, the better. That means kids at the age of six get their first molars. The second set of molars breaks through when they are twelve years. Parents should opt for sealants for their kids at an early age as they are fond of consuming sweets. Applying dental sealants on premolars can prevent you from getting a cavity from the beginning. Sealants for adults can be done at any stage of life since sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.
In some cases, dental sealants can be appropriate for baby teeth. This is when the child has deep depressions and grooves. Remember, baby teeth play a vital role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth. The baby teeth must be kept healthy to avoid losing them too early. The application process can be done even on a regular dental office visit.
Those who already have early tooth decay also can get the sealants. It would prevent further damage to the teeth. Most sealants are clear, and our dentists will put an eye on the tooth to ensure the sealant is functioning as required. Some are more prone to cavities and tooth decay. Maybe they are genetically predisposed, or they do not observe oral hygiene habits or luck dental care. These people need dental sealants as a preventative measure.
Procedure For Dental Sealants Application
It is a quick and less-painful process that involves cleaning and drying up the tooth. Later an acidic gel is applied that roughs up and forms a strong bond. After a while, the gel is rinsed off, and sealant applied. A special blue light is used to harden dental sealants. Here's a layout of step by step tooth sealing process used by the Downey Dentist:
Cleaning the Tooth
Our dentist uses a drill and attaches a tiny brush to it to clean the tooth's surface. The drill will spin the brush to scrub out the grooves. At some point, the dentist will submerge brush into slurry pumice to improve the cleaning. Cleaning allows the sealant to bond to the tooth properly.
Some patients have deep grooves that even after the cleaning, they still harbor the debris. For this reason, the dentist would have to use extra steps such as the technique of air-abrasion (using a small sand-blaster to blow out the hidden debris) and enameloplasty (buffing out remaining debris).
Conditioning The Tooth Surface
After the first step of cleaning, the dentist will use a small brush, a bit of sponge, and a cotton pellet to apply the acidic gel on the part where the dental seal will be put. The dentist spreads the gel further to cover a large area beyond the area needed for sealant. The acidic gel contains phosphoric acid that kills bacteria that lie on the bottom of the tooth. The moment when the gel is appropriately positioned, it will be allowed to settle for some time between twenty seconds to one minute and then washed off.
Evaluation of The Gel Application
After thoroughly washing off the acidic gel, the dentist will use an air syringe to dry the tooth by blowing it. The surface area to be worked on should be grayish, frosty, and bland. It should remain dry the whole process. Not even saliva should contaminate. In case saliva comes in contact with the conditioned area, it has to be re-gelled. Hence the mouth should remain wide open to avoid wetness.
At this stage, the conditioned teeth have already absorbed most of the organic contents of the enamel. They are making the tooth rough and changing in appearance. The roughness helps the sealant to stay right in place and bond well.
On the dry surface, the dentist uses a small syringe to squirt out the sealant (plastic liquid) into the tooth grooves. The fluid flows freely into each groove. It should spread only on the munching surfaces with holes and cracks that can trap and hide debris.
Curing The Sealant
Our dentist will use a curing light, dental torchlight device that has a shining blue light, to position the dental sealant properly. The specific color on the light is significant as such materials are manufactured using an incentive that is activated by the unique color. The sealant remains in liquid state until the dentist is sure it is appropriately positioned. After settling in the right position, it would take a minute to set it glowing the healing glare on it.
Evaluation The Sealant
After healing, the sealant is wholly strengthened and prepared to be in use. As usual, our dentists would assess their work. Just to mention, they will ensure that all the grooves are sufficiently filled, and the dents bite against each other frequently. The primary purpose of the evaluation is to make sure that the sealant's thickness does not obstruct the normal process of chewing. If the sealant is thick, the dentist uses a dental drill to buff and thin out.
The Method of Sealing
This is the final step after it has passed on its assessment. At this juncture, the patient can eat or drink immediately. The bites might be off a bit because of leaving the mouth open for a long time. The dental material is soft and wears off in prominent locations at a gradual speed. This will normalize your chewing manner.
The whole procedure should take at least five to six minutes with a cooperative patient. The dentist, too, must have excellent visibility and simple access for the process to end on time. It will not be the end after the dental sealant process is over, the dentist has to keep track of the sealants' condition in your usual dental check-ups.
Benefits Of Dental Sealants
Sealants are adaptable and practical. They act as a protective barrier for the teeth that are vulnerable to cavities. It assists in keeping out food particles and bacteria as well as reducing the pace of cavities incidences. Other benefits include:
- They prevent most of the dental cavities that kids get on their permanent teeth.
- On application, they protect 80% of cavities for 24 months and continue to 50% of cavities up to 48 months.
- They eliminate expenses of invasive treatment such as crowns and fillings.
- Saves you money when dental sealant application is made early because it will cost you less than when the corrective measure is pursued later.
- Improves your overall oral health as dental sealants offer long-term health
- Quickly solve as they take less time and cause no pain or discomfort.
- You can enjoy your meal as usual after the sealant application
- They can last up to 10 years before they need a reapplication
- Some insurance plans cover dental sealants up to a certain level
How To Care For Dental Sealants
With sealants, you are sure of facing little or no dental challenges. They stay firmly through your daily routine. Just like the way you take care of your healthy teeth, you should continue brushing and flossing daily. Visit your dentist regularly so that the dentist can assure you that you are properly caring for your sealants. If you take good care of your teeth, the sealants will last long. Below are ways you can keep your sealants healthy:
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss at least once during the day
- Avoid sugar or sweets consumption
- Check on your diet and include more fruits and vegetables
- Do not do tobacco products such as cigars, water-pipes, and bidis
- Make it a habit to drink fluoridated water
- Seek experts dental care from the Downey Dentist
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
The thought of going to a dentist for dental sealant is restless. The question most people would ask is whether they are safe. Yes, it secures, fast, and zero pain. The amount of BPA in the sealants vanishes in a few hours. Their protection on teeth from cavities and tooth decay last for years.
Generally, the sealants are recommended for children at six and later at 12 when molars erupt. They contain an insignificant amount of BPA and are infrequently applied. Hence, the risks associated with dental sealants outweigh their benefits in protecting the tooth from decaying.
The process of sealant application is straightforward and trouble-free as the sealant is simply painted on the tooth. The dentist does not need to use anesthesia or any type of sedation because the material is transparent and cannot be traced to hide your shining smile.
Why The Downey Dentist?
At the Downey dentist, we are committed to providing quality oral health care to all families located in California. We offer comprehensive solutions for our patients' oral needs. We believe in listening to our clients and take time to understand their goals, needs, and lifestyle. With their objectives, we provide professional solutions that will improve and brighten their smiles.
We have a professional staff that focuses on providing a broad approach to oral care. We not only treat but also educate our patients on how to maintain oral health between visits. We understand the importance of having a conversation with our patients, and it makes them comfortable and relaxed. Through listening, we have gained the trust and connection with them as we always grant them the thoughtful attention that they deserve.
We provide a wide range of dental services and procedures for us to cater for all our patients' dental health needs. We combine quality dental care with up-to-date technology. Apart from dental sealants, we offer emergency dentists, general dentists, dental crowns, implant restoration, veneers, dentures, teeth whitening, and much more. We don't just treat the patients but also identify the cause of the dental illness to provide long-term oral health.
Whenever you walk through our doors, you will be met by a friendly staff to make you feel comfortable during the entire appointment. Dental patients feel anxious when visiting a dentist. Our dentists will take time to listen to your concerns and assist you in understanding exactly the procedure you are going to undertake.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Age Should I Take My Kid for the Dentist's First Visit?
It is advised that you should take your children for their first visit when they are six months old. However, you can take them earlier if you notice they have discolored teeth.
What Should Be Used To Clean A Baby's Teeth?
For a baby, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush that has a small head. There are those designed specifically for infants, and they are perfect to use during bedtime.
Is Sealing A Tooth Better Than Filling A Cavity?
Dental sealants are a quick, easy, and painless way to prevent cavities. A sealed tooth is healthier and more reliable than a filled tooth. Sealing a tooth is also cheaper than filling a cavity.
Will It Hurt To Get A Sealant?
Sealants are comfortable and do not hurt. The tooth is just cleaned, rinsed, and dried. The sealant is then painted on the grooves, and a light shone on the tooth to harden the sealant.
How Long Will Sealants Last?
They will still work for nine years after placement. At times they might fall off, so they need a regular check-up by the dentist. If a tooth loses sealant, the protection is gone, and the tooth might get a cavity. Note that missing sealants are easily replaced.
What Would Happen If A Sealant Covers A Small Cavity?
Remember, the bacteria feed on the food particles. Once the tooth is sealed, the decay cannot spread because it is sealed off from its food and germ supply.
Contact A Downey Dentist Near Me
When people talk about the ways to safeguard their teeth against dental caries, they think of brushing and flossing regularly. However, there's one dental procedure that can protect your teeth up to the next level. The method we are refering to is the dental sealant. If you want to save your teeth and those of your loved ones, contact the Downey Dentist or call 562-746-0350, our dentists will help you with any specific questions you may have about your smile. Dental sealants are a great solution to keep your mouth free from cavities for many years to come.