apgd-66What are Dental Sealants?

If you’re looking for a great way to protect your teeth, dental sealants is definitely a way to go. The most common place to get cavities is in your back molars, where there are plenty of grooves and depressions for plaque to hide in. While brushing can certainly help, it can be difficult to scrape the plaque out of those tiny, hidden grooves.

A dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic coating over the chewing surface of a tooth. It fills in those small grooves and decreases the chance of getting a cavity in those hard to brush areas. While it sounds odd to have a plastic sealant over your tooth, it’s hardly noticeable and very helpful. Because it’s so thin, it doesn’t affect how you eat or chew at all. It’s merely there to protect, not to bother.

What are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are applied in a dental office, not at home. But the process is quick and painless, as it only affects the surface of a tooth. The process of getting a sealant will go something like this:

1apgd-67A dental professional will first clean and dry the tooth to prepare it for treatment.
2apgd-68Then, a slightly acidic solution will be used to create a somewhat rough surface on the chewing area of the tooth. The rough surface will help the sealant stick to the tooth so it will last longer and continue to protect your teeth.
3apgd-69A thin layer of liquid plastic material will then be applied to the chewing surface, filling in the grooves and fissures of the tooth.
4apgd-70Most often, blue spectrum natural light will be shone on the plastic in order to cure it. Some sealant material requires curing by a chemical process, but it’s not as common.
5apgd-71After it has been cured, the sealant is hardened and ready to be chewed, chomped and crunched on.

apgd-72A sealant will last for about five years or more, sometimes reaching up to ten years. It’s also not visible, usually being too thin to notice. So, when you talk, you won’t have any odd colors or materials on your teeth.

Dental Sealants are an easy way to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. The use of fluoride is still encouraged to help strengthen your enamel, but the sealant will keep those grooves and fissures protected from plaque buildup.