How Dental Sealants Stop Tooth Decay

At times your dentist may put a plastic coating on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth (the molars and premolars).

Why are dental sealants used in your teeth?

Food particles become deposited into the narrow grooves and it can be tricky to clean them as the fissures can be thinner and deep than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque (a sticky substance that is formed when bacteria within the mouth get deposited along with saliva, food particles and other natural substances on the surface of the teeth) has collected in them. The bacteria in plaque split the glucose (carbohydrate) in food and result in the formation of acid in the mouth and may result in tooth decay if it is not removed. The dental sealants protect the grooved and pitted areas by developing a smooth surface by covering the fissured location.

When are dental sealants applied?

In children, a dentist may apply sealant the moment the molar teeth come completely into the mouth (erupt) to shield them from caries. Application of dental sealant onto the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of these teeth helps to protect the enamel from caries.

Can dental sealants be used only on the gum of molar and premolar permanent teeth?

Dental sealants are mostly used to cover the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the spine permanent teeth (the molars and premolars) since they have pits or grooves. The sealant helps to guard the teeth for decay. They might be placed on other teeth if they have grooves or pits.

Yes, sealants can be set on teeth of adults as well. But they’re used less often in adults. They are used in adults if they have heavy grooves and fissures which don’t already have fillings or even dental sealants.

What do dental sealants look like?

Assorted forms of sealant exist. They may be clear, white or have a slight tint depending on the type of dental sealant that’s used.

How are dental sealants put?

Your dentist will first wash your teeth with a brush and paste, then rinse and wash your tooth/teeth. An acidic solution is going to be put on the tooth to make a fine rougher surface compared to the surrounding tooth enamel (this rough surface promotes the dental sealant to attach to the tooth). After drying the tooth that your dentist will place the liquid dental sealant on the tooth and it’s hardened by using a light. Following the sealant pops on the enamel you may chew on the tooth again.

How long does one dental sealant last?

Dental sealants have been proven to be successful in preventing corrosion on gum (occlusal) surfaces. They could last for decades and can be reapplied if necessary.

Is fluoride needed following dental sealant is placed?

Yes, as the sealants protect just the surface they are applied on where as fluoride protects all the surfaces of the tooth from decay and cavities.

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