Even when people do all they can to keep their teeth healthy and strong, they might discover that the back molars are still prone to cavity and decay. When this happens, fillings are often required because the tooth structure has been allowed to deteriorate. Through the use of preventive dentistry at Richmond West Dental, cavities can be avoided with the application of dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants
A dental sealant is a clear plastic coating that is applied as a liquid to the molars and then allowed to harden. The plastic is nonporous and degrades slowly, working as an excellent shield that stops corrosive plaque from attacking the enamel of the teeth.
Sealants work best when applied after professional cleaning and can be used on patients of all ages, although children are the prime candidates. Most dentists recommend sealant application between the ages of 6 and 14 but are willing to work with older patients who don’t have molar decay.
The first step to receiving dental sealants is to have the teeth thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. This eliminates plaque and bacteria, which could become trapped under the sealant and slowly eat away at the enamel and soft pulp. Once the teeth are cleaned, they are dried and surrounded by cotton to stop them from becoming wet.
With the teeth now protected, a weak acid solution in liquid form is applied to the tops. This roughens the surface and prepares it to bond with the sealant. The teeth are rinsed and dried again, and more cotton is placed. A sealant is then painted on the enamel and allowed to dry. Our dentist may use a special hardening light to speed up the process, but it should only take a few minutes.
Proper dental sealants will survive for ten years, helping to prevent tooth decay as children grow older and become teenagers.
Where to Receive
Patients interested in dental sealants at Richmond West Dental should mention that during a regular exam and cleaning. The process only takes a few minutes.