Dental sealants are a preventative dental treatment designed to stop cavities and other types of tooth decay from forming. These thin, plastic coatings are painted on the biting surfaces of the back teeth, and then they quickly bond to the grooves of the teeth and form a protective shield.
While regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and visiting our office for check-ups is a great way to prevent tooth decay and cavities from forming, food particles and plaque may still form in the tiny nooks and crannies of your back teeth. The back teeth are extremely vulnerable to food and plaque build-up, mainly because they are harder to reach and see.
Dental sealants are designed to protect these teeth that are more vulnerable and prone to tooth decay by blocking food and decay-causing bacteria from getting into the crevices of the teeth. Sealants can easily be applied by our doctors, hygienists and registered dental assistants.
Reasons for Needing Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are ideal for individuals who are at risk of developing tooth decay or plaque build-up. This often means children and teenagers are good candidates, as premolars and molars are the teeth most susceptible to developing decay. However, many adults who have never experienced tooth decay or fillings may also benefit from the protection of sealants. Because the sealant works as a barrier, individuals with teeth that are showing signs of decay or plaque build-up may benefit from dental sealants.
Undergoing the Dental Sealant Application Process
Once Dr. Nishimura has determined a patient could benefit from a dental sealant he will then have you schedule an appointment for the procedure. Applying a sealant is both simple and painless and can be performed in a matter of minutes. Sealant application involves the following:
- The teeth that are being sealed are thoroughly cleaned
- The specified teeth are then dried and an absorbent material is placed around each tooth
- We then apply an acid solution on the biting surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up and help the sealant bond
- The teeth are rinsed and dried
- The sealant is then applied to the tooth enamel, where it will then bond and harden
Replace the Dental Sealant If and When You Run Out
Dental sealants typically last upwards of 2-5 years, but it is important for you to make regular appointments with Dr. Nishimura so he can check them for chipping and regular wear and tear. If necessary, Dr. Nishimura may decide it is time to replace the sealants in order to ensure your teeth are protected from decay.
Using dental sealants is a common preventative treatment that is ideal for many people at risk of developing tooth decay. They are a simple procedure that will allow you to go about your daily activities without fear of having to deal with more serious (and painful) dental care issues in the future.