2012-09-26 / Health Care

What You Need To Know About Dental Sealants

Thousands of patients across the globe, as well as in the metropolitan New York area, receive dental sealant procedures every year in order to keep their teeth as healthy and viable as possible. Sealants are made up of a thin, durable plastic material that essentially “seals” tooth material so that it doesn’t come into contact with food, plaque and other harmful materials that may cause tooth decay. These treatments are performed in order to prevent the formation of cavities. The treatment does this by protecting teeth against substances such as bacteria, acids, and other destructive materials that can be found in the food and drink we consume each day.

You may be wondering, what exactly is a dental sealant and how is it put on your teeth? This process requires no drilling or intense surgery. In fact, these treatments are quick, easy and painless. During the procedure, all teeth are first cleaned thoroughly and dried. A thin layer of liquid plastic, or sealant material, is then spread on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, covering all crevices and niches. Often, the dentist will shine a blue spectrum light to secure the plastic material to the teeth, but sometimes it is just left to dry on its own. After about a minute or so, the material is fully hardened and provides a protective barrier that keeps teeth healthy and decay-free.

After a sealant has been applied, it will usually last for around five to 10 years. When you go in for a regular dental appointment, your dentist should check and make sure the sealant is still effective, meaning it is still in place with no cracks or chips to allow bacteria or debris to reach the teeth. If it is no longer in place, sealants are easily fixed by simply reapplying plastic material where needed or redoing the full procedure.

Who should receive dental sealants? The application is advisable for anyone who wishes to avert tooth decay or cavities. However, sealant treatments are often performed upon children and adolescents as a method of protecting their teeth from cavities and bacteria. Because permanent molars are the teeth most likely to benefit from sealants, dentists often wait until a child is about six years old to apply this treatment. When the second molars come in around age 12, sealants may be applied again. Sealants are most effective right when these molars grow in, as they are fresh and will ensure that teeth are never exposed to substances that can lead to decay.

Even though sealants are very effective in preventing the decay of teeth and formation of cavities, it is important to note that they do not replace fluoride or brushing for hygiene protection. Sealants keep bacteria and germs from food and drink out of the grooves of teeth with their protective barrier. However, fluoride and brushing still are very necessary in preventing tooth decay and maintaining healthy teeth.

Receiving dental sealants can save you a lot of time and money down the road and can avert the need for dental fillings or more complicated dental treatment. Consider receiving this treatment to keep your teeth, as well as your children’s teeth, as healthy as possible.

For more information about dental sealants in Queens, NY, or to schedule an appointment to protect your teeth from the culprits that cause tooth decay, contact Park Dental Care today at 718- Dentist.

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