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How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Tooth Decay?

Molars are subject to tooth decay, because their surfaces are grooved. The grooves are difficult to clean through brushing, especially for children. Plaque then accumulates in these fissures, resulting in decay of the molars.
Dental sealants can be applied by a cosmetic dentist to prevent decay in the grooves of molars. Sealants are usually confined to the surfaces of molars, and, when combined with fluoride treatments, are procedures for preventative dentistry.

Are adults candidates for sealants?
If an adult has teeth subject to decay and grooved molars that have not received fillings, sealants may be recommended. Teenagers are often candidates for sealants if deemed necessary.

What are dental sealants made of?
Sealants are a plastic coating that can be applied to the surface of a tooth and hardened. The sealants can last for 10 years, after which a dentist may repair the existing bond by adding more material.

What is the procedure for application of a sealant?
The tooth must be thoroughly cleaned by a hygienist or a cosmetic dentist, first. This is done with a paste and rotating brush. The paste is then thoroughly washed from the tooth surface and it is dried.
An acidic wash is then applied to the tooth, because the acid creates a rougher surface which enhances bonding of the sealant.
The tooth is again dried, and the liquid sealant is applied to the surface of the molar. Sometimes a special light is used to harden the sealant, and sometimes a two-compound sealant is applied, which eliminates the need for a hardening light.

When should sealants be applied to children’s teeth?
Sealants are sometimes applied to the primary, or baby teeth. Baby teeth save space for permanent teeth, so it is important they not be lost to decay. Most of the time, it is recommended that sealants be applied as soon as a permanent molar erupts.

Preventative dentistry is a most important facet in dental hygiene. Sealants save thousands of dollars in fillings, root canals and crowns. By the age of 19, 70 percent of Americans have had some dental decay. Properly applied sealants prove to be 100 percent effective against tooth decay.

Why not call our Charlotte dental office today to make your appointment?

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