What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a simple treatment often recommended as a cavity prevention measure for permanent back teeth. Generally suggested for children, sealants are thin, white, or clear plastic coatings that fill the pits and fissures naturally occurring in the chewing surfaces of molar and premolar teeth. After they are positioned, sealants block out bacteria, food particles, and plaque to help protect against the formation of tooth decay (cavities). Dental sealants not only lower the risk of dental cavities, but they may also save your family from restorative needs, such as fillings, crowns, and other procedures. Talk to our team at Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA to help you determine if dental sealants are a good choice for you or your child.
Best Candidates for Sealants
Ideal candidates for dental sealants are patients who are prone to developing tooth decay. Most often, sealants are recommended for the permanent molars of young children and some teens as patients in these age groups are often more at risk. The chewing surfaces of the back teeth contain deeper grooves and pits, which are more difficult to clean and therefore vulnerable to developing cavities. Dental sealant application is a simple, fast treatment that requires no anesthesia or sedation, making it a great procedure for patients of any age. Sealants are not ideal for teeth that show signs of decay or that already have dental restorations.
The Treatment Process
During your family's consultation, our team will first examine the teeth to decide if dental sealants are a good treatment for you or your child. Prior to the actual application, the teeth will be cleaned with a special paste and cleansing solution to prepare the chewing surfaces for sealant placement. After using air to dry the teeth, we will brush on the sealant and set (harden) the material using a special dental curing light. Our team will then check the bite and ensure that each sealant has settled correctly.
After Sealants Are Placed
After the appointment, you or your child will be free to return to normal activities. Specific instructions on how to care for dental sealants will be provided, but we generally recommend avoiding foods that are sticky or hard for the first few days. It is important to follow a regular oral care plan, including brushing the teeth at least two times each day and flossing daily. Dental sealants may last many years if they are cared for properly with a good home oral hygiene routine and regular dental appointments. During each cleaning and exam visit at our Lancaster, PA practice, we will evaluate the sealants and inform you if they need to be repaired or replaced at any time.
Protect Against Tooth Decay
Dental sealants are an excellent way to minimize the risk of tooth decay and the need for restorative treatment in the back teeth. A relatively quick and easy procedure, dental sealants can help your loved ones experience better dental exams and improved overall oral health. To learn more about dental sealants, contact Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA to book your family's appointment with our highly trained team.