The anatomy of our teeth can often be such that ideal cleaning cannot be accomplished. Many people have deep grooves and pronounced tooth anatomy. These grooves can harbor food particles that will provide a food source for decay causing bacteria.
Most commonly, sealants are placed on children after eruption of their permanent molars. This will prevent cavities during the time in one’s life when oral hygiene takes a back-seat to Mountain Dew, junk food, and the activities of today’s busy youth.
Additionally, high cavities risk individuals may benefit from sealants. As part of the Medical Model of Caries Control, after removal of all decay in the mouth, sealants are to be placed to block out all niches where cavity causing bacteria may lie. Then, fluoride therapy and a STrategic Reset of the Oral Biofilm (STROOB) can effectively change the high risk environment to a lower risk environment.
Sealants require perfect isolation and advanced bonding techniques to be effective. The bonding is very similar to that of a composite resin filling. The sealant material is “thinner” and therefore runs deep into the grooves of the teeth. The process is relatively quick and simple. At each cleaning or check-up the teeth will be checked to make sure the sealant remains intact, is sealed, and continues to provide a benefit to the patient. Occassionally a sealant may need to be replaced or “touched-up” to continue providing benefit. Below is a synopsis on dental sealants.
Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, dental sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.