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Preventative Dentistry
 

 

Sealants

After years of decline, the incidence of dental caries has once again begun to increase. The Surgeon General in his Report on Oral Health in America notes that '' Indeed, what amounts to a 'silent epidemic' of dental and oral diseases is affecting some population groups."

Sealants are extremely effective in the long-term reduction of pit and fissure caries, and studies have shown sealants to reduce the incidence of caries as much as 50 percent.

What is Sealant?

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay.  A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.

Sealants are most effective for patients with a high or moderate risk of developing carious lesion

Reasons for sealants:

  • Children and teenagers As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.

  • Adults Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.

  • Baby teeth Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.

What do sealants involve?

Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.

The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry.  A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth.  The teeth are then rinsed and dried.  Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions.  Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.

Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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