There is great emphasis on brushing and flossing teeth daily, as it is the best way to get rid of plaque and food particles that could lead to decay and cavities. However, brushing is sometimes not enough, especially if your teeth has deep pits and grooves. Also considering that young kids are yet to master the technique of brushing and flossing, it becomes necessary to take extra steps to ensure their teeth are protected.
Sealants are mostly recommended for the first and second set of permanent molars. They are not usually used on primary teeth unless there are risks or early signs of tooth decay. reasons for this is that while the primary teeth fall out at some point, they still are important as they hold the correct spacing for incoming permanent teeth.
Sealants are a thin protective film that is painted on the chewing surface of teeth in an effort to prevent tooth decay. They are made using a plastic resin that firmly bonds onto the surface of teeth, even on the pits and fissures of the chewing surfaces to act as a protective barrier. They protect the teeth against the causes of tooth decay which are plaque e and acids from food particles left in the mouth. for as long as the protective layer of sealants remains intact, the teeth are protected. They are however not a substitute to brushing and flossing, they only make it easy to clean the back teeth that have hard to clean grooves and depressions.
The procedure for getting sealants is fast and painless and most kids will go through it without any problems. it is minimally invasive and there is no need for aesthesia. However, for kids with extreme dental anxiety, sedation such as nitrous oxide may be use to help them relax. At Dental Land, the children dentist in Pasadena, TX will begin by cleaning the teeth to be sealed. This is to ensure that when sealing, no bacteria or harmful acids are trapped between the protective coating and the enamel. The teeth will then be dried and isolated using either a cotton roll or an instrument called dry angle.
Once that is done, an etching solution is then put on the surface of the teeth to slightly roughen up the enamel so that the resin bonds properly. The teeth are then rinsed again and the sealant material is then applied, covering the entire enamel. A curing light may be used to help the resin dry faster and once the dentist confirms it is well hardened and bonded to the tooth, the procedure is completed. The whole process takes just about 2 minutes for each tooth. it is an outpatient procedure and afterwards you can take your kid home without any downtime involved. There are also no restrictions, your child can continue to eat as they normally would as well brush and floss without any problem.
Dental sealants can last for a minimum of 3 to 5 years and if well maintained they can continue to offer protection for up to 10 years. When you take your child for routine check-ups, the dentist will examine the sealants to see if they are still in condition. In case of damages or that they are worn out, a re-application can be done. Also, the quality of the application process determines how long the sealants last. Sealants mostly fall or chip off when the tooth was not properly prepared or the resin was not given enough time to completely dry.
Although mostly used on children, people of all ages can benefit from dental sealants. It is a good preventive measure for anyone that is highly vulnerable to cavities. Not only does it protect teeth, it saves you money that would have otherwise been used in restoration treatments to fix decay and cavities.
If you are interested to learn more about dental sealants or you are interested in the treatment, do not hesitate to give us a call or alternatively you can book an appointment for a personalized and professional dental experience.