The goal of learning excellent dental care and hygiene practices is to get and keep a vibrant and healthy smile. But even after mastering techniques of brushing, flossing, and even after attending routine dental check ups, there still may be tough to manage risks that can lead to stubborn cavities or other types tooth decay. This is especially true for individuals that have deep crevices or grooves in their back teeth. It is very easy for tiny food particles to become stuck in these areas, and these crevices become an excellent breeding ground for bacteria that can cause a number of problems in your dental hygiene regimen. So what can you do to better protect your teeth? One commonly used solution is the dental sealant.
What is a dental sealant?
Dental sealants, also known as pit and fissure sealants, are a treatment that applies a thin plastic barrier in the deep crevices and grooves (or pits and fissures) of your back teeth (and on occasion front teeth as well). The dental sealants serve as a clear physical protector that guard these hard to reach and hard to clean areas from instances of bacteria growth, and tooth decay. The sealant material is placed in the fissures and results in a smooth façade that is easy to clean, but that still remains effective for chewing and biting. Though dental sealant procedures can be done at any time, they customarily are performed as soon as the adult molar teeth have grown in.
What are dental sealants made of?
There are two main categories of dental sealants. The first is a glass ionomer based sealant. It is popular because it contains fluoride, and is less moisture sensitive, which makes them a highly effective and long lasting option for preventing tooth decay. The second category of dental sealants contain a resin base. Both types of sealants are effective for as long as they continue to firmly seal the tooth. The dental sealant life span varies based on a number of factors, including the initial shape of the tooth, but dental sealants are said to last at least five years and in many cases will last well over ten years.
Who should get dental sealants?
The ideal candidate for a dental sealant procedure is of a pre-teen or young adult age with dental molars that have fully emerged. If you are an adult and do not yet have tooth decay in your molars, sealants may be a fantastic method of protection for you as well.
If you think that you may benefit from a dental sealant application procedure we can help. Dental sealants are also frequently covered under dental insurance plans, so you may even be able to benefit from the extra cavity and tooth decay protection at no extra cost to you.