Dental sealants consist of a thin layer of acrylic that is painted over a person’s back molars to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Sealants work by smoothing out the deep grooves and fissures located on an individual’s back teeth, making them substantially easier to clean and maintain. This also establishes an effective barrier against harmful bacteria and acids that can cause serious damage when they are able to directly access teeth.
The deep grooves and fissures that exist on one’s back teeth are home to roughly 75 percent of all tooth decay that is found within the mouth. Even with proper brushing and flossing, these areas are known to be very difficult to reach. Smoothing out these surfaces with dental sealants makes them easier to clean, helping to ensure that the teeth remain in good shape.
Many of our patients who receive dental sealants are children and teenagers who are still learning proper brushing and flossing practices. Baby teeth, in particular, can greatly benefit from dental sealants since their surfaces often feature deep grooves and fissures. Adults can also receive this type of treatment as a way of protecting their teeth and making them easier to clean.
Applying Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can be applied in just one visit to our practice. The application is a simple process that only requires a couple of minutes per tooth. We start by thoroughly cleaning and drying any of the patient’s teeth that are designated for sealing. After the teeth have been cleaned, we roughen the surface of the teeth with an etching solution. This is done so that the teeth can easily bond with the acrylic sealant material. Next, the etching solution is rinsed away, and the teeth are re-dried. At this point, the teeth are ready to receive their coating. We carefully paint acrylic sealant onto the teeth and allow the substance to fully dry. The process is finished by making sure that the patient’s teeth have been fully sealed and that all of the deep grooves and fissures are completely blocked off.
If you would like to learn more about dental sealants and how they can be used to protect your teeth, please call us at (417) 221-9181 to schedule an appointment.