Teeth are wonderfully designed to chew and break down food. Our enamel is made up of peaks and valleys to help in chewing. The downside of the surface of our molars is the pits and fissures in the valleys can also be space for food debris and plaque to get stuck and then be the cause of decay. Even the best brusher can miss some places. Dental sealants can be used to fill in these spaces and prevent food and plaque from settling in these tiny spaces. Our team at Dynamic Dental Care can walk you through the process and discuss the benefits of the application of dental sealants.
In general, cavities do not appear in much of the enamel of our teeth. This is due to the shape, the constant cleansing of saliva, drinking water, and through diligent brushing. Cavities, or caries, appear in the places that can go undisturbed. Most cavities form on molars, and most appear in tight or bowl shaped spaces on molars. It may be due to neglect, or it may simply be impossible for toothbrushes or floss to reach these spots. We apply dental sealants on these more vulnerable spots. The results have been a significant reduction in the development of caries and disease. Since we began applying sealants to children’s teeth, dental professionals across the nation have begun seeing more and more children reach adulthood without ever experiencing a cavity. This will translate to healthier teeth into their adulthood and keeping their natural teeth longer.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a protective coating that we paint onto the surface of teeth, and tight spaces. Once hardened, they will serve as a shield or layer between the tooth enamel and any debris. This means that the bacteria can not make contact with the portion of the tooth that is sealed. We do not paint the entire tooth with sealant material because it is not necessary. We simply cover the vulnerable areas that we determine during your examination. The sealant material has been described as a lacquer, or hardened varnish. It does have a slight coloration to it, but is generally hidden from view. Following the application and setting with a blue light, the patient is able to eat and drink their regular diet. Your dental sealant should remain in place for many years, but we will check its status at every checkup appointment and reapply as needed.
The process of placing dental sealants includes:
|Evaluate Need: We begin by assessing the need for dental sealants. In general, we recommend sealants for all of our minor aged patients, but it can also be beneficial for some of our adult patients. We will look for areas that can be difficult to keep free of debris.
|Dental Cleaning: We then clean the teeth through a standard dental cleaning. The application of dental sealants is often following formal cleaning appointments.
|Apply an Acid: We apply an acid wash to the area where the sealant is being applied. This will roughen the enamel just enough to help the sealant adhere more firmly.
|Apply Sealant Material: The sealant varnish is painted on in liquid form with just a small paintbrush. This is a painless process.
|Harden the Material: The sealant is then hardened in place with the use of a blue light. It will be hard and should stay firmly in place for many years.
If you are interested in getting sealants for yourself or your child, please contact Dynamic Dental Care at (509) 466-2587 and we will be happy to schedule you an appointment.