Preventing tooth decay and cavities is important to maintaining a healthy smile for life. Although brushing and flossing the teeth is highly effective at reducing the risk of tooth decay, it's not always enough. Dental sealants can provide the teeth with an added layer of protection, preventing tooth decay and cavities. To find out if dental sealants are right for you, schedule a consultation with our Rockville, MD dentist, Dr. Victor R. Siegel.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are protective, plastic coatings applied to the teeth to prevent tooth decay and the formation of cavities. Dental sealants are applied to the surfaces of the teeth, including the cusps, the tiny, bumpy structures on the molars. The cusps have crevices and grooves, where it can be easy for bacteria and plaque to accumulate, making the molars more susceptible to cavities. Applying sealants to these areas helps provide a protective barrier against decay. Dental sealants provide long lasting protection; they have a lifespan of ten years or more.
The Dental Sealant Process
Dental sealant treatment is fast and painless. It can be completed in a single dental visit. Treatment begins with a deep cleaning to ensure the teeth are free of plaque or other debris. Next, the teeth are dried and an acid solution is brushed on the teeth. This solution makes the teeth porous, helping the dental sealant to firmly bond to the teeth. After the teeth are prepared, they are rinsed and dried again. The sealant is then applied to each tooth. Treatment is completed when the sealant is cured, or hardened, using a special light.
Candidates for Dental Sealant Treatment
Dental sealant treatment is beneficial for children and adults alike because dental sealants protect the teeth from cavities and decay. Although anyone with healthy teeth can benefit from dental sealant treatment, those who relate to the following are highly encouraged to receive dental sealants.
- Pronounced cusps: Adults and children with pronounced cusps, which can be difficult to clean, make particularly good candidates for dental sealant treatment.
- Children and teens: Children and teens, especially those between the ages of 6 and 14, are more likely to develop cavities, making them excellent candidates for dental sealant treatment.
- Children with permanent molars: Dental sealants can help children with permanent molars enjoy healthy smiles into adulthood.
- Children with baby teeth: Even children who still have their baby teeth can benefit from dental sealants since the healthy baby teeth help maintain the correct spacing for permanent teeth.
- Adults with healthy teeth: Essentially, any teeth that are free of decay, cavities, or fillings can be treated with dental sealants.
Enjoy a Healthy Smile
Preventing dental damage is key to enjoying a healthy smile for life. Dental sealants are a pain free way to protect your teeth from decay. To learn more about preventative treatments, or to discuss other treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Siegel.