Designed to protect an individual’s back teeth from damage, dental sealants consist of a thin layer of acrylic that is painted onto the surface of one’s molars. Once dental sealants have been applied, they establish an effective barrier that prevents harmful bacteria and acids from directly accessing a person’s teeth. Another benefit of dental sealants is that they smooth out the deep grooves and fissures commonly found on a person’s back teeth, making them easier to clean and maintain.
Nearly 75 percent of all tooth decay found inside a person’s mouth is located within the deep grooves and fissures that are present on the back teeth. Even with proper brushing and flossing techniques, these areas are known to be very difficult to reach. By applying dental sealants, these surfaces are smoothed out, making upkeep substantially easier and cavities less likely to occur. When dental sealants are cared for properly, they should remain intact for several years.
A large number of the patients who receive dental sealants are children and teens who are still learning correct brushing and flossing practices. Baby teeth often benefit greatly from dental sealants since they usually feature particularly deep grooves and fissures; however, many adults also receive dental sealants in order to prevent their teeth from experiencing damage or decay.
It only takes a couple of minutes per tooth to apply dental sealants. The process starts with cleaning and drying any tooth that is going to be sealed. Next, an etching solution is applied to the teeth to roughen their surfaces and help the sealant coating bond more easily.
Once the teeth have been prepared, the etching solution is washed away, and the teeth are re-dried. The surfaces of the teeth are then covered with the acrylic coating, and the sealants are allowed to dry completely. After the coating has dried, we will make sure that the patient’s teeth have been fully sealed and that the deep grooves and fissures have been smoothed out.
If you would like to learn more about dental sealants and how they can be used to protect your teeth, please visit us at one of our eight locations in Zebulon, Knightdale, Clayton, Cary, Louisburg, Leesville, Raleigh and Benson. You may call us to schedule an appointment.