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Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants

Tooth-colored liquid plastic over the top surface of teeth

Dental sealants are a preventative care treatment primarily used to protect children’s back teeth from decay, because of our commitment to good oral health for our patients, we offer free dental sealants for children under the age of 11. To seal molars, we will apply clear or tooth-colored liquid plastic over the top surface of teeth, then use a gentle light to harden the material. Over the course of a many years, sealants wear off naturally. However, we will check the sealants at regular exams to ensure they remain effective.

Who Needs Sealants?

We usually recommend sealants for children under the age of 14, who have developed molars, because back teeth can be difficult to keep clean with brushing and flossing. Adults often already have some bacteria on molars, so sealing can be detrimental, actually retaining bacteria rather than protecting against it. In rare cases, the dentist may suggest sealants for adults.

Because proper hygiene, such as biannual exams and brushing and flossing, isn’t always practiced at a young age, dental decay can begin early and create further problems into adulthood. Once dental decay has started, it’s actually impossible to restore the tissue, which is why dental sealants are an excellent approach for controlling cavities and tooth decay.

Applying Sealants

The application of dental sealants involves a few simple steps, and in most cases takes about five minutes per tooth:

  1. The hygienist will thoroughly clean teeth before placing sealants.
  2. The tooth will be carefully prepared with a mild, non-irritating solution to lightly roughen the enamel and increase the surface area of the tooth. This allows for a strong bond between the sealant and enamel.
  3. The tooth will be washed and dried once more.
  4. Your dentist will apply the white or clear liquid sealant over the tooth.
  5. Finally, a special light will be used to harden the coating. Once hardened, the sealant will match the look of your natural teeth and provide a solid barrier against food and bacteria.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Bonding and contouring offers many cosmetic treatment benefits for our patients by:

  • Reducing the risk of tooth decay
  • Creating a barrier against food and bacteria
  • Deterring enamel erosion and gum disease
  • Providing protection for up to 10 years

The Procedure

These procedures usually take a single appointment and are appropriate for both children and adults. After your exam, the dentist will talk with you about what you’d like to achieve. He or she will then explain treatment options and answer all of your questions. For contouring, the doctor will gently sculpt the rough or sharp edges of one or more teeth, removing a small bit of enamel.

Cosmetic bonding uses the same composite resin used for tooth-colored fillings. The doctor will prepare your tooth with an etching product to ensure a solid bond, then custom-tint the resin to match surrounding teeth. After placing and sculpting the restoration, a gentle curing light will harden the resin. Then, the doctor will further shape and polish the tooth and check your occlusion. Any further adjustments will be made at this time, then you’ll be ready to face the world with your improved smile.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

Protect your children’s smiles with dental sealants. For more information, you can conveniently schedule your dental exam with the Value Dental Center located in a Walmart near you.

Have Any Questions?

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