What are Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a plastic coating made from monomers derived from BPA, including bis-GMA and bis-DMA. This coating is then painted onto the tooth, usually on the chewing surfaces of molars, to prevent tooth decay. The sealant fills the small grooves and fissures of teeth that often hold food, helping prevent decay from forming in these areas.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Sealants protect teeth from cavities by providing a protective layer between tooth enamel and decay-causing plaque. Dental sealants have been proven to prevent cavities in children by 70% and the treatment is usually covered under most dental insurance plans if you are under a certain age.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying dental sealants only takes about 5 minutes to complete. There are no shots, drilling or pain. The teeth are cleaned and dried and a cotton is placed around the mouth to keep teeth dry. An acidic gel is then placed on the teeth for a few moments; this process helps the sealant cling to the teeth, allowing the sealant to last longer. After the gel, teeth are rinsed and dried once more and cotton is again placed in the mouth to prevent saliva from wetting the teeth. The liquid sealant is then brushed onto the teeth, covering all grooves, cracks and hard to each places. The liquid sealant hardens on its own after a moment, but a special light is also used to harden the sealant. Once the sealant is fuller hardened the patient can eat and drink as normal!
How Long Will Sealants Last?
With regular checkups and a good cleaning routine, dental sealants can last up to five years, sometimes longer. It is very important to see your dentist regularly to monitor the strength of the sealant to make sure there are no cracks or chips. Any cracking or chips in the sealant can cause decay to reach the tooth. Keeping your teeth clean by brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing everyday and using a fluoride toothpaste is recommended even for those with dental sealants. Sealants are only a preventative measure to help prevent cavities and should not be used to replace regular care and cleaning.
Orthodontics and Dentistry for Kids: call us at (904) 645-9555 to get more information or set up an appointment today to see if dental sealants are right for your child!
Dr. Perez has been in the private practice of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics for almost 30 years. He has been educated in top universities around the world, receiving training in the United States, Spain and Mexico. He is currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Perez is fluent in both Spanish and English.