Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are typically put on the surface of your back teeth – molars and premolars – to protect them against decay and cavities.
Since they are used for chewing, molars and premolars have grooves that make them susceptible to decay. These grooves can be very deep which makes them harder to clean and are generally narrower than the bristles on your toothbrush. That leads to plaque getting into them, and the acid from the plaque will work on destroying enamel and leading to cavities. Dental sealings provide a smooth surface over the grooves which offer extra protection.
Once the chewing surface of the first permanent chewing tooth is exposed above the gum line is when the first dental sealant will be placed by Doctor Aram Cazazian at Bayside Family Dentistry in Bayside, NY.
Typically, dental sealants are only placed on the permanent molar or premolar because those are the teeth with the largest grooves and therefore are the most likely to develop cavities. Sometimes your other teeth might have deep fissures, and if this is the case, Bayside Family Dentistry may place a sealant over these teeth as well.
Sealants are clear, white, or have a slight tint, all depending on the type of sealant the dentist uses.
When applying the sealant, the doctor will begin by completely cleaning the area with a paste and a rotating brush. Then the tooth will be rinsed and dried. An acidic solution is then put on the grooved area for a few seconds before being washed away. This creates small areas and a rougher surface than the existing enamel that can be viewed with a microscope. This surface will allow the dental sealant to attach itself to the tooth. Once the tooth is again dried, the liquid dental sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened. It then becomes a varnished coating that can be used to chew.
Dental sealants can last for years effectively. They can also be replaced once they have worn away. You can get dental sealants even if you’re an adult! They’re not just limited to children, though those are the usual patients.