Why Choose Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are useful in protecting your back teeth from decay that begins on the chewing surfaces. These large, squarish teeth, called molars and premolars, can be especially hard to clean, making them vulnerable to decay.
These teeth are hard to clean, not only because they’re far back in the mouth, but also because they have deep crevices that help your teeth break up and crush food. Sometimes these crevices might be properly known as pits because they’re that deep and dark. Because they’re hard to clean, these pits can often accumulate bacteria and food particles that lead to decay of the teeth, which makes the pits even deeper and harder to clean.
Sealants cover up these crevices and pits so that food and bacteria don’t accumulate there. They don’t significantly interfere with chewing, because these deep canyons and pits aren’t as necessary now that we don’t eat as much roughage as our primitive ancestors did.
Sealants are especially good for children who have a hard time reaching and cleaning these back teeth, but the American Dental Association recommends them for adults, too.
How Sealants Are Applied
Your dental sealant procedure begins with a thorough examination of the teeth to be treated. We want to make sure there’s no decay. If there is any decay, it will be removed before the sealant is applied.
Once decay has been completely removed, we will use a light acid wash to thoroughly clean your teeth and roughen the surface to improve the bond between your teeth and the sealant. The sealant is then hardened with a curing light.
The procedure takes only a few minutes per tooth, although dealing with decay may take longer.
You Still Need to Brush and Floss
Although dental sealants are great for reducing your risk of cavities in treated teeth, they don’t eliminate the risk completely. You need to keep brushing your teeth, and it’s especially important to keep flossing.
Flossing your teeth removes bacteria from between your teeth. Left undisturbed, this bacteria will cause decay on the sides of your teeth, which can lead to serious damage, including infection of the pulp that requires a root canal to fix. Bacteria buildup around your back teeth can also lead to gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and may contribute to serious health problems.
To learn more about the benefits of dental sealants and whether they’re right for you and your children, please call (201) 343-4044 or email the River Edge Dental Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry.