Brushing and flossing your teeth every day are essential habits for the prevention of tooth decay and cavities. However, even if you follow the ADA guidelines, it is still possible for cavities to develop. This is because there are some areas of your teeth that are more difficult to thoroughly clean than others. One of these trouble spots is the chewing surfaces of your molars. These areas have deep grooves and crevices that can easily trap food particles and bacteria, and they can be difficult to access with the bristles of your toothbrush. At Beyond Dental and Implant Center, we can help to prevent cavities in these areas of your teeth with sealants.
What are Sealants?
Cavities develop as a result of untreated tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when acids produced by plaque and bacteria erode the enamel, causing weak spots in this protective layer of your teeth. Certain types of foods and beverages you consume can also contribute to erosion. Weak spots eventually lead to the formation of pits, or cavities. Without treatment, cavities continue to grow larger, compromising the structural integrity of the affected tooth and your oral health.
Sealants are a preventative treatment designed to help prevent the formation of cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars, where buildup is likely to occur. They are a synthetic application, made up of plastic, that is placed on the surfaces of your molars. They are designed to cover over the crevices, preventing buildup while simultaneously making the teeth easier to keep clean.
How are Sealants Placed?
Placing sealants is a quick, simple procedure that can typically be completed in less than 30 minutes. Before placing sealants, any existing cavities need to be treated. We clean your teeth, eliminating all buildup. Next, an acid etch is applied to the surfaces of the molars. This acid etch is used to create a rough texture on your enamel, which aids in providing a stronger bond between the sealants and your teeth. The acid is washed off, and your teeth are dried. We apply the sealant material to your teeth and cure it using a specialized light. Once cured, the sealants begin providing immediate protection.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
While made from plastic, sealants are quite strong. However, it is important to keep in mind that sealants are designed to be used in conjunction with good oral hygiene practices. You should continue to brush and floss your teeth as normal. Sealants only protect the surfaces they cover. Cavities can still develop on other tooth surfaces. With proper care, sealants can last for many years. In the event they do become damaged, they can easily be replaced.
Who is a Candidate for Sealants?
Sealants are commonly thought to be a treatment only for children. While many individuals who get sealants are kids, adults can benefit as well. If you are prone to cavities, particularly in the chewing surfaces of your molars, sealants can help to provide you with the additional layer of protection to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
Sealants can help to provide you with an additional layer of protection against the formation of tooth decay and cavities. For more information, and to find out if sealants are right for you, call Beyond Dental and Implant Center today at (972) 591-7520.