Dental Sealant! Ever Heard of It?
Dental sealant is key to maintaining good, lasting oral hygiene. Dental sealant acts as a barrier between your tooth enamel and harmful bacterial particles.
It’s no replacement for brushing or flossing your teeth, but it is absolutely effective at preventing and delaying tooth decay in both children and adults.
What exactly, though, is dental sealant? How do you even use it on your teeth?
Basically, it’s a liquid you apply to the top part of your tooth. Dentists then cure it under a special light. Ultimately, dental sealant becomes a plastic-like coating that will last you for years. Your dentist will usually apply sealant to premolars and molars, since that’s where your teeth decay the most.
Having your dentist apply sealant to your teeth is typically quick and painless. But you still might be wondering how, exactly, the procedure works. After all, it can be overwhelming to have dental procedures done.
Thankfully, there’s absolutely nothing to fear about having dental sealant applied to your teeth.
Source: Dental Sealant FAQs | School-based Dental Sealant Programs | Division of Oral Health | CDC
I’m Interested in Dental Sealant, But I’m Anxious About the Procedure
The process for having dental sealant applied is quick and painless. But people tend to get anxious that the procedure will be an ordeal. This is luckily far from the case.
Let’s quickly review the common process that your dentist will likely follow when applying dental sealant:
Clean: First, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth. Afterward the tooth surface gets rinsed, just like normal tooth cleaning.
Prime: Your dentist then primes your teeth with a special material. This will lightly roughen the surface of your teeth, which helps dental sealant stick to them.
Rinse & Dry: After your teeth are primed for 10-15 seconds, your dentist will rinse your teeth with water. They’ll then dry your teeth to adhere the sealant.
Seal & Cure: After your teeth have had time to dry, your dentist will apply sealant to your teeth with a curing light. This light hardens the sealant into a plastic-like coating.
Assess the Bite: Finally, your dentist will have you bite down a few times to make sure there’s no sealant getting in the way. If there’s no build-up of sealant interfering with your bite, it means the process is complete!
And that’s the extent of the procedure. There’s no shots, no drilling, and absolutely no pain when you have dental sealant applied. You don’t even need to worry about changing up your diet — you can immediately start eating and drinking.
Getting Dental Sealant Applied — What’s the Final Verdict?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental sealants cut down on cavities by 86% in the first year and 58% after four years
These statistics also apply to adults. Getting dental sealant applied to your teeth early on makes it easier to avoid time-consuming and painful corrective treatment. Without a good application of dental sealant, you risk developing cavities or decaying teeth.
You can expect your dental sealants to last for a long time, at least up to five or more years. It’s a good idea to check in with your dentist to ensure they’re in good condition. They will help you determine whether your sealant is starting to wear away.
As long as you keep up with a regular brushing and flossing schedule, your dental sealant should last you for a long time!
Source: Sealants – American Dental Association (mouthhealthy.org)
Our local dentists in chesapeake, va at Midgette Family Dentistry always encourages our patients to meet with us regularly. Regular dental appointments, together with healthy eating and home oral care, is a certain path toward excellent oral hygiene. It’s important to remember that regular visits with your dental professional is the easiest and most effective way of keeping track of your oral health. If you live in or near the Chesapeake, VA area and are ready to make a change in your dental experience, call Midgette Family Dentistry now and schedule your next appointment.