Sealants - Melissa, TX
Who Should Get Sealants?
Dental sealants are beneficial for children, teenagers and adults that are at high risk for cavities. Children and adults are notorious for developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. Adults that do not have decay or fillings in their molars, but have deep grooves and often eat sticky, sugary foods can benefit as much as children from sealants. Typically children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come so the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental Sealants are preventive-driven, space-age plastic coatings that flow over the tooth’s deep grooves with minimal to no preparation needed beforehand. These sealants become hard immediately after light curing, but will continue to wear down against the opposing teeth as the excess is slowly removed. Ultimately, we’re removing those tricky areas where food and bacteria can grow (grooves and depressions) by sealing them off.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying dental sealants is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for the dentist or hygienist to apply the sealant to each cavity-susceptible tooth. The application steps are as follows: First the teeth that are going to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned. Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is placed beside the tooth to prevent moisture from reaching the tooth (tooth must stay dry for the sealant to bond well). A safe acid solution, which we call tooth shampoo, is then put onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to create a rougher surface, and ultimately create a stronger, longer lasting sealant. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. The sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens using a special curing light. For girls, we say we’re painting the tooth so it can be beautiful. For boys, the sealant is the tooth’s armor, making it stronger and better than ever before.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular 6 month dental check-ups. It’s normal for sealants to wear off in time since they’re under the mechanical forces of chewing and the material isn’t very thick (it would feel excessively high and uncomfortable if it were). Another option we may consider is a PRR, otherwise known as a shallow filling. In this case the tooth is lightly touched with a bur to decrease the size of the groove, then it’s filled with a harder material called composite. This can also be a great way to introduce kids to the dental handpiece (water whistle) because no shots are needed and the whole procedure is still pain-free.
If you have questions about sealants or want to find out if sealants are right for you or your child, come visit Paradise Dental in Melissa, TX and we’ll gladly answer any questions you may have! Paradise Dental – Proudly offering dental veneers, dental implants, teeth whitening, teeth cleaning, root canals, braces, Invisalign, and comprehensive family dentistry to the Melissa area since 2008.