Preventive Tooth Sealants
What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a clear or white natural looking material that is bonded on the chewing surfaces of molars (back teeth) and premolars (the teeth directly in front of the molars). Sealants have been shown to be highly effective in the prevention of cavities. Dental sealants were developed through extensive dental and have been established as an essential preventive treatment for cavities by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Therapeutics.
How effective are sealants?
Dental research have proven that properly applied sealants are virtually 100 percent effective in protecting the tooth surfaces from caries. Because sealants act as a physical barrier to decay, protection is determined by the sealants’ ability to adhere to the tooth. As long as the sealant remains intact, small food particles and bacteria that cause cavities cannot penetrate through or around a sealant. Therefore cavities are prevented because the sugar and acid can not reach the tooth enamel.
How are sealants applied?
First of all you do not have to be numb to receive sealants. Sealant application involves cleaning the surface of the tooth, applying a tooth conditioner to the surface of the tooth. After 15 seconds, the conditioner is rinsed away with water. After the site is dried, the sealant material is bonded to the tooth and allowed to harden by using a special curing light. Sealant treatment is painless and could take anywhere from five to 45 minutes to apply, depending on how many teeth need to be sealed. Sealants must be applied and bonded properly for good retention in the grooves of the teeth.
How long will a sealant last?
Sealants should last three to five years, but can last as long as 10 years. Although sealants should not be considered permanent, one study reported that seven years after application, an impressive 49 percent of treated teeth were still completely covered. Regular dental check-ups are necessary to monitor the sealants’ bond to the tooth.
Who should receive sealant treatment?
Children and adults. Surveys show that approximately two-thirds of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a tooth because food particles and bacteria cannot be cleaned out. Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95 percent chance of eventually experiencing cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth, so sealants are a great method to help prevent future tooth decay.
Call our Dallas Area Dental office at (972) 278-9901 for more information.
Our address is:
Gregory Allen Kerbel, D.D.S.- Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
3260 Southern Drive, Suite A
Garland, Texas 75043