What Are Dental Sealants?
At Gateway Dental Care we offer our patients dental sealants in Pleasanton. A dental sealant is an acrylic-like material that helps shield the teeth’s chewing surfaces from decay-causing bacteria. They are a cost-effective way to help patients – particularly children – control decay in certain areas.
Sealants are designed to protect only the pit and fissure areas of molars and cannot be applied to the surfaces between teeth where decay often forms. These teeth must be cleaned daily by flossing.
How Are Sealants Applied?
In a painless procedure, the chewing surfaces of teeth are first conditioned with a solution to help create an effective bond. The teeth are then rinsed and dried and the sealant material is applied. An ultraviolet light may be used to harden the sealant material. The entire procedure lasts only a few minutes and requires no anesthesia.
At What Age Should Children Have Sealants Applied?
There is no specific age at which sealants are indicated. Usually, the best time to apply them is when the six-molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear.
How Long Will Sealants Last?
Sealants can last many years. On subsequent dental appointments, the sealants will be checked for wear and to verify that the material in intact. Occasionally a tooth may be resealed or need a new layer of sealant material to keep the barrier strong.
Do Sealants Require Special Care?
Chewing ice cubes, hard candy or very sticky foods should be avoided. Fluoride and good dental hygiene (brushing and flossing) combined with sealants will help prevent tooth decay. Follow a balanced diet and come in for regular hygiene checkups when your dental sealants will be examined.