Sealants are used as a preventive measure, typically in children to close off the natural pits and grooves of teeth. They protect the pits and grooves of teeth from collecting food and bacteria and therefore are an excellent mechanism to prevent dental cavities from forming. Sealants are very similar to tooth-colored bonded restorations, however, they are placed in the absence of dental cavities and do not require removal of tooth structure.
Steps of dental sealant placement
The tooth is cleaned by removing all debris on the surface in which the sealant will be applied. Often times a brush attached to a dental hand-piece is used with some type of cleaning paste. A mild etchant gel is applied to the surface of the tooth and is rinsed off with water. A bonding paste is applied and scrubbed into the grooves of the tooth. The bonding paste is activated by a blue light, also known as a curing light. The sealant material is then applied and hardened by the curing light. Following the placement of sealant, the bite is evaluated to make sure that the newly placed sealant is not obstructing the bite.
Are sealants only for kids?
Dental sealants can be used on individuals of any age. If you are an adult prone to cavities, sealants can absolutely be applied to the grooves of your teeth to prevent the formation of cavities. Given that sealants are a preventative measure against cavities, they will get more usage if applied earlier in one’s lifespan. Also, sealants are ideal for those with less than ideal home hygiene. For those reasons, they are often considered a procedure only provided to children.
Contact us today if you would like to know about how sealants can be placed to help you prevent cavities.