Why Use Dental Sealants?

dental sealants

Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities.  According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), “sealant placement in children and adolescents has shown a reduction of cavities’ incidence [by] 86 percent after one year and 58 percent after four years.” Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but, unfortunately, there areas that, despite your good efforts, the toothbrush bristles just cannot reach. Deep depressions and grooves in teeth trap food particles and allow plaque to collect. When you eat, the bacteria in plaque use the sugars in your food to produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Repeated attacks cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in a cavity (or hole) in the tooth surface. 

Learning About Dental Sealants

Like the name suggests, dental sealants “seal out” tooth decay by preventing food, plaque and bacteria from invading the small crevices and cracks of your teeth.  A dental sealant is comprised of a thin, clear, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surface of your tooth.  This application shields your enamel from further decay.  Dental sealants are one of the best prevention tools out there.  Their application is quick and painless. And, they are invisible! Choose to protect your teeth, your smile, and your overall health by choosing to have dental sealants applied to your teeth.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Encourages Using Dental Sealants

Preventing cavities is one of the primary goals of treatment.  The according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), “sealant placement in children and adolescents has shown a reduction of cavities’ incidence [by] 86 percent after one year and 58 percent after four years.” Proper, dedicated brushing and flossing eliminate particles and plaque from the surfaces of teeth, but, despite your good efforts there are areas that the toothbrush bristles just cannot reach.  Deep grooves and depressions in your teeth can entrap food particles help plaque to collect. Acids that eat away at the tooth enamel are created by the sugars from the food you eat. These sugars adhere to your teeth in the form of plaque and that plaque transforms into acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Repeated plaque attacks eventually result in a cavity (or hole) in the tooth surface. By employing dental sealants, you prevent bacteria from growing in the grooves, cracks, and imperfections of your teeth. 

Who Benefits from Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants prevent pit and fissure cavities in children, but also provide preventative benefits for adult patients and teenagers. Essentially, anyone that has deep grooves and pits in their teeth can find added protection with dental sealants. The national oral health objectives for dental sealants, as stated in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020, include increasing the proportion of children and teens who have received dental sealants on their molar teeth. The majority of patients that receive dental sealants are children because of the shape of growing teeth. When first molars come in around age 6, deep crevices called pits and fissures form on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth. Prevention is the best approach to keeping your oral health in optimum shape.

How Does the Application Process Work for Dental Sealants?

One of the best selling points for dental sealants is that the application process is not just quick, it is painless. There is no need for numbing medications which can greatly reduce anxiety that some patients feel when they have a new dental procedure. The application process to seal a tooth only takes a few minutes. A member of our Niles Family Dentistry team will commence the dental sealant process by first cleaning of teeth.  This removes any foreign particles from the surfaces of your teeth so they don’t get trapped under the sealant.  After the teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried, we apply a small amount of acid solution to the chewing surface of the tooth to prime the enamel. This steps helps the sealant to better bond to the tooth. The teeth are rinsed and dried again and then the dental sealant is painted onto the enamel. The sealant will dry and harden on its own, or we will use a special curing light to accelerate the process.  After we are sure the sealant is set you are done!  You won’t have to alter your menu or your eating/drinking habits after dental sealants are applied allowing you to resume normal eating activities immediately.  Dental sealants usually last from 5 to 10 years with proper attention to dental hygiene and regular cleanings.

Call to Schedule Your Dental Sealants Consultation

Call to schedule your dental sealants consultation to discover all the many ways they can benefit you or your child.  When you take the steps to prevent tooth decay to take steps towards a healthier mouth and a healthier you.  Dr. Niles is a family dentist in Niwot, Colorado, with convenient access to the communities of Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, and Louisville.  Niles Family Dentistry offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.  Call for your appointment today at (720) 744-0001. We look forward to meeting you and your family!

Ashley Niles

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