A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria like plaque and acids. The sealants that we make are very easy to apply.
The whole procedure only lasts a few minutes. Before the actual sealing, a cleaning will be performed and the teeth will be prepared to receive the sealant. When your tooth has been prepared and ready, Dr. Conaghan will place the sealant to your tooth as if he were painting them on. It will bond directly to your tooth.
The surface of the tooth will be protected and the sealant should be able to handle any regular chewing pressure. It’s still important to attend regular visits so the doctor can check and evaluate your sealant, and reapply them if necessary.
We are a family practice, and begin seeing children at 3 years of age. The first appointment consists of taking a ride up and down in the dental chair, “counting the teeth” (gently cleaning), and “tickling the teeth” with our polishers! At the end of their dental visit, they are rewarded with a gift from our treasure chest. Children, like adults, are seen every six months for their cleanings and check ups.
If children are apprehensive or uncomfortable, we do not force them. For our younger patients who require specialized treatment or sedation, we refer out to a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating children who have fear or anxiety towards dental treatment. It is very important to keep children as comfortable as possible in order to prevent dental fear in the future.
WHAT IS A SEALANT?
A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. This is where decay most often occurs.
WHAT DOES A SEALANT DO?
A sealant prevents tooth decay. It covers the pits and grooves of chewing surfaces and seals out decay-causing food and germs.
WHEN SHOULD SEALANTS BE PLACED?
Sealants are most beneficial if they are placed on permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in.
The first permanent molars grow in between the ages of 5 and 7. The second permanent molars grow in between the ages of 11 and 14.
HOW IS A SEALANT PLACED?
A sealant is placed by a dental professional. The procedure is simple and painless. It takes only a few minutes. The tooth is cleaned and treated with a solution that allows the sealant to stick to the tooth. Sealants are painted on as a liquid and quickly harden to form a shield over the tooth.
HOW LONG WILL A SEALANT LAST?
Sealants can last for up to 10 years. They can be checked at dental visits to see if they need to be replaced.
Give us a call if you have any questions about how sealants will work, and if you want to learn how sealants are beneficial to both children and adults, please give us a call. We’re always ready to help you learn more about your dental health and to help you schedule an appointment.