Dental sealants are a great way to protect the most vulnerable teeth from decay.
Patients who struggle with decay, including all of our minor age patients, can have their teeth hermetically sealed. By creating a barrier between the teeth and plaque, we can prevent damage and the need for restoration.
Dr. Hablutzel, along with our professional hygienist, can evaluate your level of plaque and determine if sealants would be beneficial for you.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that form a protective shield on the enamel of teeth to prevent tooth decay.
Dental sealant is painted on teeth surfaces used for biting or chewing. Such surfaces are also considered as the top of the tooth, usually on the back teeth: premolars and molars.
The sealant reaches the depressions and grooves of the chewing surfaces, which regular brushing and flossing cannot clean efficiently. They also work by sealing those nooks and crannies to protect them from food particles and plaque deposition.
Back teeth are most susceptible to cavities and decay, and sealants prevent more than 80% of cavities in these teeth.
Even though this preventive intervention is necessary to protect children and adolescent teeth from cavities, many people fail to recognize its importance and continue to suffer from untreated cavities.
What Are Dental Sealants Made Of?
Modern dental sealants are usually made from resin or glass ionomers. Dental sealants are clear or white, which can have a slight tint depending on the type of sealant used.
Resin Based Dental Sealants
Resin-based sealants have undergone several developments in their history.
The first-generation sealants were set using UV curing. These types of resin sealants are no longer marketed.
The second-generation sealants were cured using autopolymerization; chemical application without using heat or light was used.
The third-generation dental sealants were cured using visible light, and the fourth-generation resin dental sealants contain fluoride.
The concerns around using resin-based sealants primarily focus on the safety of Bisphenol A, a chemical with estrogen-like effects. Resin-based dental sealants contain BPA derivatives which convert into BPA upon contact with saliva.
However, low-dose BPA exposure doesn’t pose serious side effects associated with estrogen; wiping and rinsing after the sealant hardens effectively decreases any potential risks.
Glass Ionomer Dental Sealants
Glass ionomer sealants bond to the dentin and enamel when cleaned with polyacrylic acid conditioners. These dental sealants are far more effective in protecting your teeth from caries or cavities.
Another advantage that glass ionomer dental sealants have over resin-based sealants is that they contain fluoride, which strengthens the enamel and keeps it healthy.
These sealants release fluoride, protecting the teeth in the long run even if they fall out, they have released fluoride, which further protects teeth enamel.
How Effective Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants can protect teeth from cavities and decay for up to 10 years. However, you must schedule regular visits with the dentist if your dental sealants are chipped or worn out, as the dentist can replace them as necessary.
Dental sealants are effective as a preventive measure for cavities and tooth decay. As long as the chewing surface of teeth has a sealant on them, cavities are prevented.
Dental sealants are now recognized as a successful method to protect pits and fissures on the top of back teeth, and their effective adhesives retain on top of the tooth surface for a long time.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
There are no known side effects associated with dental sealants. Even though there is a small amount of BPA in the sealants, it is not harmful enough to cause any major adverse effects.
How Long Does It Take Dental Sealants to Dry?
A dentist will apply a blue light to seal your dental sealants. Before curing, the resin sealants are in a liquid form, ensuring efficient application to the tooth surface. The sealant will take about a minute to dry with a curing light.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Maintaining good oral health and scheduling dentist appointments to examine dental sealants are essential.
There are many reasons why dental sealants can fail, like improper placement, salivary contamination, or lack of sealant material used. However, if properly applied, dental sealants can last for many years.
Do I Need to Get Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are the most effective preventive measures for children and teenagers. Children are most susceptible to cavities around the ages of six to 14.
At this time, it is better if they get dental sealants so that the permanent molars and premolars are secured from getting cavities.
Adults who want to protect their molars from decay and cavities can also get dental sealants.
Sometimes, dental sealants are also appropriate for baby teeth as these teeth hold importance in the correct spacing for permanent adult teeth.
The Process of Getting Dental Sealants
Your dentist will begin by cleaning your tooth surface using a rotating brush and paste. The tooth is cleaned using water and then dried.
Then the dentist will place an acidic solution on the tooth’s chewing surface, leave it for several seconds, and then rinse it. The practice creates a rough surface on the tooth, which makes the application and adhesion of sealant easier.
The liquid dental sealant is then cured and hardened on the tooth. The dentist may or may not use a special light to harden the dental sealant, and once the dental sealant is hardened, it takes the form of a hard plastic varnish that will coat and protect your teeth from future cavities and decay.
Can You Eat After Receiving Dental Sealants?
Cut back on hard foods that can break or chip your sealant for one or two days after dental sealant treatment.
Sticky foods like chocolates and hard food like candies or ice should be consumed in smaller quantities to lessen the chances of chipping or wearing out the dental sealants.
Do Dental Sealants Hurt?
Getting dental sealants is a painless and easy process. The liquid sealants are placed on top of your tooth and take only a few minutes to seal all the back teeth.
The dentist uses a special curing light to harden your dental sealant, and the overall process is non-invasive and doesn’t cause pain.
Call to Get Your Dental Sealants Scheduled With Your Bremerton, WA Dentist Today!
At Pacific Ave. Dental, we believe that protecting teeth from an early stage is an essential step to ensure the long-time good oral health which is free from cavities and tooth decay.
Our dentists, Dr. Hablutzel and , look forward to checking your mouth for cavities and guiding you about the necessary measures you can take to ensure better oral health. Call us at (360) 373-3515 to schedule your dental appointment.