October 22, 2021
Tooth cavities or decay is one of the most common dental diseases. Feeding on sugary, starchy foods and drinks, the bacteria in the mouth, convert the carbohydrates into acids.
Bacteria, acid, food and saliva then mix to form plaque, a sticky substance that coats the teeth. The acids in the plaque dissolve tooth enamel and create cavities or holes.
A great protective option against tooth decay, for patients of all ages, is known as Dental Sealants, which are usually typically administered by family dentists as a method to prevent tooth decay.
A simple procedure, it can be done in less than an hour, and the results tend to last for a few years, making sealants a great option for those who are at risk of damage.
Extremely thin protective coatings, the dental sealants are applied over the chewing surface of the premolars and molars.
The coating is painted right onto the teeth by the dentist, for bonding to take place.
The material sticks to the grooves and depressions of the teeth, offering protection against bacteria that has the potential of turning into plaque or tartar.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
The most common benefits of dental sealants are:
- Quick procedure requiring less than an hour
- Painless procedure
- Results can last a few years
- Teeth do not feel any different after the procedure
- Protects both molars and front teeth, without changing appearance
The dentist quickly applies the coating to each tooth and then uses a light that encourages bonding.
It can be followed by a slight sensitivity, which can be taken care of through an oral rinse or an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. The sensitivity does not last longer than a day or two.
When Do Dentists Recommend Dental Sealants?
The time of eruption of permanent teeth, before the decay occurs is the best time to seal them.
The first permanent molars erupt around age 6 and the next set comes in when around 11 to 13 years of age.
If the dentist notices that the child’s premolars which come between the age of 12 to 13, have deep grooves, they will suggest sealing them.
The last teeth to grow are the wisdom teeth. Sometimes the jaws lack any space to accommodate these, leading to problems.
The dentist will recommend removing them most of the time. But if the dentist believes that the wisdom teeth will play an active role in the patient’s dentition, sealants may be recommended to prevent the decay.
Appropriate and efficient measures to prevent cavities are vital early in life. The babies who have cavities are most likely to have cavities as adults too causing a cycle of oral health problems.
Taking measures of protection before the cavities happen can keep the child safe.
Children who consume more sugar or those at risk for oral conditions due to genetic disorders are at risk might also be suggested dental sealants by the dentist.
Although Dental sealants are largely recommended for kids, adult patients can benefit from the procedure too.
The dentists suggest the application of sealants to adults to protect the teeth from tooth decay.
The hard enamel layer protects the teeth and makes them stronger making it easier to clean the chewing surfaces by not allowing the food to get trapped there.
Dental sealants are a very effective and safe method to curb tooth decay.
Both adults and children can benefit from dental sealants.