Sealants are made of a composite resin and are similar to fillings. They are most commonly applied to molars which are responsible for chewing to protect them from cavities and tooth decay.
Poor oral hygiene and a diet high in sugar and starches put you at a higher risk for tooth decay. Applying a sealant to the teeth reduces your chance of developing tooth decay because it seals fissures and prevents bacteria from getting inside of the tooth.
Cavities develop as a result of a buildup of bacteria. Sealants create a smoother surface on the back of your teeth that is easier to clean so you don’t get a buildup of plaque and tartar. At Skylyn Dental Associates, Dr. Paul Gibas applies a liquid dental resin to your teeth known as a sealant to protect your teeth from cavities.
Before applying a sealant to your teeth, your dentist will first clean and dry your teeth. Then, the sealant is painted onto the tooth and set with a special light until hardened. The sealant gets into pits and grooves to prevent food particles from getting trapped. This smooth, hardened surface is a protective barrier against plaque, so your teeth have extra protection against tooth decay.
Sealants can last for up to 10 years, but they need to be regularly checked to ensure they haven’t fallen off or been chipped. Sealants are most at risk for falling off within the first 6 months of application. They do wear down over time and need to be reapplied.
Regular dentist visits will prevent wear and tear of your sealants and your dentist will be able to tell you if they need to be reapplied. In some cases when the sealant has been perfectly applied, it can potentially last a lifetime. However, since it is common for sealants to fall off or become chipped, you should be prepared for replacement.
According to the CDC, sealants protect the teeth against 80% of cavities in the first 2 years of application and 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. Children who have gotten dental sealants are three times less likely to experience cavities than children without sealants.
Sealants are extremely effective and a non-invasive, affordable procedure so they are a very useful defense against tooth decay for both children and adults. Sealants allow you to seal any vulnerable tooth surface, offering particularly effective results in pits and fissures.
Oftentimes the reason people develop cavities is that they were unable to thoroughly clean some of their teeth as a result of being hard to reach. The back molars tend to be the teeth that are hardest to reach which is why they are targeted for sealants. These teeth are prone to having a buildup of food particles which result in plaque and tartar. Getting sealants is the best way to prevent more extensive dental work like root canals or crowns.
Dental sealants are a quick, affordable, minimally invasive, and painless way to protect your teeth for up to 10 years. Minimize your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay that can lead to extensive, expensive dental work in the future. At Skylyn Dental Associates, we offer a wide range of preventive dental treatments. Schedule an appointment for dental sealants with Dr. Paul Gibas today and improve your oral health.