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Our South Charlotte Dentist Explains Dental Sealants & Their Benefits

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are plastic materials that are placed on the surfaces of the teeth. They are typically placed on the pre-molars and molars because those are the places where tooth decay is most likely to occur. Although flossing and brushing can prevent cavities, it can be extremely difficult to reach the pre-molars and molars. That is why these areas are prone to cavities.

Sealants are designed to protect the enamel from acid and plaque. The tooth will be protected as long as the sealant remains in place. Sealants can potentially last for several years. Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth, but teenagers and adults can benefit from them as well.

Even if there is already a small cavity in the tooth, a dental sealant will still be effective. Sealants prevent plaque and bacteria from entering the tooth. This will prevent the cavity from getting bigger.

Sealants have been around since the 1960s. However, many people are still unaware of the fact that sealants exist. In fact, less than 30 percent of the children today have sealants on their teeth.

Dentists often recommend dental sealants as a part of preventative dentistry service. Applying sealants is just one of the many things that can be done to prevent cavities.

Process Of Applying The Sealant

There are multiple steps that a cosmetic dentist will have to take when applying a sealant. The first thing that the dentist will do is clean the tooth. The tooth will then be dried and then cotton will be placed around the tooth. After that, the dentist will apply a solution that will make the tooth rough. It will be easier for the sealant to stick if the tooth surface is rough.

The tooth will then be rinsed and dried. Another piece of cotton will be placed around the tooth. The liquid sealant will be applied to the tooth and allowed to harden. It will only take a few seconds for the sealant to harden.

If you are interested in any cosmetic or preventative dentistry services, then you should contact our cosmetic dentist.

Charlotte Dentists Explain Why Dental Sealants Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities

Both adults and children can benefit from the application of dental sealants by a cosmetic dentist. Sealants are a clear, or off-white plastic varnish that is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. In particular, the surfaces are the top most part of molars. This varnish is safe and non-toxic after application.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Dentists often recommend the use of a dental sealant on the molars to prevent cavities from developing. Sealants are more commonly used on children, because they are prone to developing cavities on the chewing surfaces of their molars. These surfaces have lots of fine crevices that children have a hard time cleaning out when brushing.

Adults can also benefit from this type of preventative dentistry. This treatment may be recommended for adults who have unusually shaped teeth or deeper crevices that are not easily cleaned out without special care. Over time, food particles and bacteria can build up in those crevices and create caries, or cavities.

An In-Office Procedure

There is no need to worry about the use of needles. A cosmetic dentist can easily apply sealants during a regular appointment. The process for applying dental sealants is fairly straightforward and without pain.

  • The dental assistant will thoroughly clean and dry the tooth surface.
  • A mild acid is applied to the tooth enamel to help roughen it. This makes it possible for the sealant to adhere properly.
  • The sealant is applied to those rough surfaces in liquid form.
  • A special blue light is used to harden the sealant.

Sometimes, the sealant is actually a two-part epoxy that can be hardened without the use of a special light. After the procedure, patients should be able to start chewing normally. They may notice that the area where the sealant was applied feels slightly raised. However, and experienced cosmetic dentist will be able to minimize that effect. It will gradually diminish over time as the varnish wears down a little.

How Long Does it Last?

This bit of preventative dentistry results in a very durable protective surface. Sealants may last as long as 10 years before wearing away completely. However, it may be necessary for the dentist to touch up any areas that start to chip or wear off. Before that can happen, you need to halt the progress of cavities now by making that appointment with the dentist.

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