Riverpark Dental

What is it?

Dental sealants are a protective dental mechanism for the chewing surfaces of the teeth and are most likely to be applied to the premolars and the molars. A plastic coating is placed on the surfaces of the teeth to prevent plaque build-up.

Plaque and bacteria can easily build-up on the teeth’s chewing surfaces due to deep depressions and grooves that run along them. Cavities can result when plaque accumulates in the depressions and grooves because it can be difficult to remove and lead to dental problems later on.

An effective way of reducing your risk of developing a cavity is to consistently brush your teeth every single day. However, many people still miss spots of their teeth when they brush, which gives the opportunity for plaque and bacteria to build-up and increase risk of developing a cavity. This is why sealants are a very effective preventative care option because they give no opportunity for a cavity to develop.

Who should get sealants

Anyone will benefit from sealants! Brushing your teeth consistently on a daily basis is a great preventative care habit, but the deep depressions and grooves on the chewing surfaces still pose a risk for cavity formation because they are so difficult to clean. Sealants provide complete protection from any plaque and bacteria build-up in those difficult spots. The best time to get sealants is when your adult molars and pre-molars begin to erupt, which occurs around ages 5-7. Children between the ages 6-14 are at the highest risk of cavity formation and are highly recommended for sealants.

Your molars erupt in two sets. Your first set, called your 6-year molars, erupt around ages 5-7. Your second set, called your 12-year molars, erupt around ages 11-14. It is highly recommended that children get sealants after their 12-year molars erupt.

Sometimes we will recommend sealants for a baby’s teeth, depending on how deep the depressions and grooves are. It is important to protect your baby’s teeth because they hold the template for the adult teeth to erupt into.

When is it needed/ risks of not getting it done

Sealants are needed when molars have deep depressions and grooves because the risk of developing a cavity is very high. If we recommend the patient have sealants done but they decline, we will suggest them to monitor other risk factors for cavities such as their oral hygiene, and their sugar and fluoride intake.

How is it done

The procedure is quick and pain-free. We will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove any pre-existing plaque and ensure the surface is completely dry.

We apply an acidic solution to slightly roughen up the chewing surfaces to ensure the sealants adhere to the teeth. The solution is then removed and the sealants are painted on and left to dry and harden. In addition, we use a curing light to encourage the sealant to solidify.

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