What Are Dental Sealants?

Although dental sealants are a very popular dental procedure that help many patients restore the function of their teeth, most do not know what dental sealants are. By understanding exactly what dental sealants are and who they are for, you are able to decipher whether or not they can be beneficial for you personally.

What are dental sealants?

A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is placed on the chewing surface of teeth to prevent tooth decay. The following covers information about dental sealants, including their purpose, who they are for and how the process of applying a dental sealant works.

The purpose of dental sealants

The main purpose of dental sealants is to restore function to teeth that are worn down over time due to enamel erosion, grinding of teeth and various other reasons that could cause a loss in enamel. In most instances, dental sealants are placed on the premolars and molars, which are the most heavily used teeth in the mouth. Dental sealants help with chewing and can even restore the cosmetic appeal of one’s smile. While there are techniques that are helpful to prevent enamel erosion, it is normal for the chewing surface of molars and premolars to wear down over time, and a dental sealant can help replace the worn down enamel.

Who dental sealants are for

As mentioned, the main purpose of dental sealants is to replace worn down erosion on the chewing surface of teeth, which means individuals who have worn down teeth - particularly on their molars and premolars - are good candidates for dental sealants.

With that said, dental sealants are most commonly used on children and teenagers. Between the ages of 6-14, children are at an increased risk of developing dental decay, and applying a dental sealant on the molars and premolars can help prevent enamel erosion during those at-risk years.

How the process works

The process of applying a dental sealant can be broken down into the following four steps:

  • The teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried
  • An acid solution is placed on the chewing surface to prepare for bonding
  • The sealant is placed on top of the tooth enamel
  • The dental sealant is hardened through the use of a dental light

Although this is a fairly standard procedure that many dentists follow, every dentist office is different and may utilize different strategies for applying the dental sealant. The most common disagreement comes on the last step. Instead of using a dental light to harden and bond the sealant, many dentists utilize a two-component dental sealant procedure that does not involve the use of a light.

What to expect with dental sealants

After the dental sealant, placing pressure on the affected teeth often does not feel much different, but it may become easier for some to chew after the procedure. The biggest benefit to dental sealants is the decrease in risk of developing a cavity. The average lifespan of a dental sealant is typically around 10 years.

Go to https://www.qualitygentledentalcare.com for more dental sealant information or call Roman Khodosh DDS PC at (973) 542-7597.

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