|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
August 7, 2014
There are new ways that dental professionals can help their patients prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surface of the teeth. It is most commonly placed on the back teeth, premolars and molars. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth. This forms a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
The easiest way to prevent tooth decay is to brush and floss daily to remove any food particles left behind. When left behind the particles and plaque can turn into tooth decay and can be very harmful. However, brushing and flossing can’t always get into all of the nooks and crannies of the back teeth. Sealants help to protect the more vulnerable areas from tooth decay by trying to seal off these spots from plaque and food.
Who Should get Sealants?
Those who are at the highest risk of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the molars are children and teenagers. Children should get sealants put on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as the teeth come in. Having the sealant applied at this time will help protect the teeth survive through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. Adults without decay or fillings can also benefit from sealants.
Some children have had dental sealants put on their baby teeth. The baby teeth of a child can have very deep depressions and grooves that can aid in the development of tooth decay. These places are very hard for young children to reach when they brush their teeth. Baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, so it is important to keep these teeth as healthy as possible.
The application of dental sealants is simple and painless. It only takes a few minutes for the dentist to apply the sealant to each tooth. The following are the steps that dentists follow in the sealing process.
- Teeth that are getting sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is dried and cotton will be placed around the tooth to absorb any moisture, keeping the tooth as dry as possible.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of the tooth to roughen it up. This helps the sealant bond to the teeth better.
- The teeth are rinsed and dried thoroughly again.
- Then the sealant is painted onto the enamel. This is where it bonds directly to the tooth and then it will harden. In some cases a curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
Sealants can protect the teeth from tooth decay for up to 10 years. The teeth will need to be checked for chipping or wearing at your regular dental cleaning. If your dentist notices some spots that need to be fixed, they can easily replace the sealant.
Dental sealants are normally covered by most insurance companies. Check with you dental insurance plan or ask your dentist office. They will be able to help you decide if this is for you.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.