What are sealants?
Sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. Many children and adults receive sealants to protect their molars from the decay in these grooves, which are responsible for 75% of dental decay. The sealant, as evidenced by its name, seals the tooth and creates a smooth surface that is much easier to keep clean and healthy.
Why Invest in Sealants?
1) Baby teeth: Most often, a dentist doesn't seal teeth that are going to fall out anyway. Occassionally, however, if a child is shown to be very cavity-prone, a Dentist will put in sealants on a baby tooth.
2) Children: After children's permanent molars grow in, children are very cavity prone. Sealing the teeth helps prevent cavities
3) Adults: Adults who have teeth with very deep depressions are grooves are at a heightened risk for tooth decay and cavities. Adults opt for sealants to prevent these issues.
What to Expect:
When you come into your appointment, first the teeth will be cleaned thoroughly to ensure that nothing gets trapped inside the sealant. The area around the teeth will be surrounded by cotton to keep the areas dry. Next, a solution is put onto the tooth to help the sealant bond to the teeth effectively. Next, the dentist will rinse and dry the tooth. He will then put the sealant material carefully into place on the enamel surface to cover up deep grooves and depressions in the tooth. Depending on what type of sealant is used, the material will either harden and dry automatically or a special light will be put into the mouth to help it harden. The whole procedure does not take a long time and does not involve pain.
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