What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are used to protect the flat surfaces of the back teeth which are used to grind up food. Dental sealants or fissure sealants are made from a flexible plastic material which is painted onto the tooth surfaces and quickly hardened. The material is thin enough not to interfere with the way the teeth bite together and is nearly invisible.
Why Use Dental Sealants?
The chewing surfaces of the back teeth often develop cavities in kids due to the way they are designed. If you look at the surfaces of these teeth you’ll see they have lots of grooves and fissures and it can be tricky to clean all the bacteria and food debris that become trapped in these teeth. As a result they often develop tooth decay. Applying dental sealants is a very effective way to cure tooth decay in these areas.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
The application process for dental sealants is very quick and straightforward. Your child will only need one appointment with our pediatric dentist NJ. First it is necessary to apply an etching fluid to the tooth surfaces due to be sealed. This fluid creates a rougher surface on the tooth, creating a much better bond between the tooth and the sealant. The etching fluid is rinsed off and the tooth is dried before being painted with the sealant. The dental sealant can either be left to harden naturally in just a few minutes or we will use a special light to help it harden more quickly. Afterwards the teeth can be used normally and there is no need for your child to wait before they eat or drink something.
When Should Dental Sealants Be Applied?
Dental sealants are best applied to your child’s full-grown back teeth soon after they erupt. This is because dental sealants are only suitable for healthy teeth that don’t have any signs of kids cavities and which haven’t got any fillings.
Sometimes our doctor will recommend applying dental sealants to milk or primary teeth. This might be the case if your child’s teeth have particularly deep fissures and we feel they are more at risk of tooth decay.
How Long Will Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants should last for quite a few years before they need replacing. At each periodic exam their condition will be checked for any signs of wear and tear or chipping. When necessary it is a fairly simple to reapply dental sealants.
D1351 – Sealant application-per tooth (crown or root)