At Dental Savers, we always counsel our patients about the need to protect their teeth. That’s why we encourage that they learn how to brush and floss their teeth correctly and this also explains why we encourage them to get professional teeth cleaning service at least once every 6 months. Unfortunately for some people even these maintenance procedures aren’t enough, which is why we also offer dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Basically, a dental sealant is a kind of plastic coating for the teeth. We apply this sealant on the chewing surface of a tooth with deep grooves or fissures. Usually this means the back teeth, but sometimes we find other teeth with these grooves so we apply dental sealants on them as well.
The problem with these fissures is that they provide a great spot for tiny bits of food to get in or get stuck. It’s very hard to clean these deep fissures, as sometimes the opening is so small that your toothbrush can’t get to the space and remove the bits of food stuck there. When this happens bacteria will grow there, and eventually you’ll end up with tooth decay.
When we apply dental sealant to these teeth, we give it an extra level of protection. The sealant we apply covers the fissure and grooves, and that prevents the food and the bacteria from getting inside.
What to Expect
When you visit our dental clinic in Mayfair, Philadelphia for a checkup, our standard routine involves assessing whether your teeth need dental sealants. It only takes a few minutes to apply it on one tooth. It doesn’t hurt at all, and we only use white or clear dental sealants so that they don’t stand out from the rest of your teeth.
First our dentist will prepare your teeth properly for the application of the dental sealant. We will remove plaque along with any bits of food that may have snuck into the grooves. We will also polish the surface of the teeth.
When the tooth has dried, we will then etch its surface. After we rinse off the etching material, we then wait for the tooth to dry. Then we apply the dental sealant to the fissures with a brush. We then bond the dental sealant to the tooth surface by using a specially designed light and it will take only a few seconds.
Once that’s done, we check the appearance and condition of the dental sealant. We make sure that there’s proper contact between the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. When the dental sealant hardens, it’s done. Your teeth can be used for chewing again and they have the additional protection of the dental sealant.
Sealants for Children and Adults
Most of the time, kids are the ones who require sealants the most. When a child is 12 years old, that’s usually the time when the first permanent back tooth is already out. When the tooth has completely cleared the gums, we put in a sealant immediately, and we do this for all the back teeth. We also check the other permanent teeth for any deep fissures, and we apply the dental sealant if deemed necessary. Sometimes we also determine that the baby teeth at the back will require a sealant, and so we apply it as well.
But adults may need dental sealants too. We apply the sealant on the grooves of teeth that don’t have any fillings yet, and we check the original sealants on the back teeth to see if a new sealant is necessary.