O’Brien Dental is proud to offer many solutions for preventing the onset of tooth decay and cavities. Many of these tools simply involve patient education and preventative screening. However, another popular option for our most cavity-prone patients is the application of dental sealants.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants act as a barrier to the bacteria that can cause tooth decay and cavities. Sealants also work to prevent the build up of food and acid in the chewing surfaces of teeth.
Sealants are created by the application of a thin gel to the surfaces of your teeth. Sealant gel is typically only applied to the chewing surfaces of the larger teeth at the back of your mouth where bacteria, food particles and acids are known to hide.
The sealant gel fills in any ridges in these teeth, protecting them from housing particles of food and cavity causing bacteria. Sealants are popular solutions for patients who have many ridges in their teeth – making it easy for cavities to form. Sealants are also especially helpful in pediatric dental patients – protecting young teeth until children learn to brush more effectively.
What should I expect during treatment with dental sealants?
Prior to sealants being applied, your teeth will be professionally cleaned at the dentist’s office. This will ensure that all possible debris and germs are removed from the surface of your teeth before the sealants are applied. If you have already experienced the onset of tooth decay, sealants may still be applied – however depending on the severity of the decay your dentist may recommend a filling be performed in advance of sealants.
Once your teeth have been cleaned properly, they may be slightly etched with a special mouth rinse in order to allow them to properly adhere to the surface of your teeth. A special resin will then be “painted” directly onto the surface of your teeth. Once hardened by a specialized light treatment, your teeth will be sealed from debris and germs that can cause tooth decay.
How long do dental sealants last?
Typically, dental sealants will last for several years. Sealants withstand normal chewing, but can be reapplied if your dentist sees that they are beginning to wear away.
Can adults receive dental sealant treatment?
Absolutely! While children are prime candidates for dental sealants, many adult patients also benefit from their use. Do not hesitate to discuss this option with your O’Brien Dental professional.
If you believe that your smile could benefit from the use of dental sealants, contact O’Brien Dental today to learn more about this preventative treatment.