Dental Sealants

By: J. Shahangian, DDS, MS- San Diego Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

What Are Sealants?
I may put sealants on your child’s teeth to protect the teeth from harmful bacteria and germs.  Sealants are made of special materials that are placed on the teeth.

The sealants fill up the small grooves on the chewing section of your child’s tooth.  This seals the tooth and prevents food and plaque from causing damage to the tooth.  This procedure is easy and usually lasts for several years.

Sealants can be placed as early as age six.

First, I will clean and thoroughly rinse the surface of the teeth to remove all of the teeth cleaning materials.  Next, I will put a special jelly-like solution to the teeth, including the grooves and pits.  I will leave on the solution for 15 seconds, after that I will carefully rinse out the mouth with water.  Once the teeth are completely dry, I will put on the special sealant and will wait until it hardens.  After it hardens, I will use a powerful light.[1]

Sealants
Sealants are the product of modern technology.  This is how they work.  First, the sealant fills in the gaps and crevasses on the surface of the chewing teeth.  This gets rid of the small spaces where food and bacteria can hide in, and thus gets rid of the places where cavities can develop.  The application is fast and effective, and protects the teeth for many years.  I highly recommend sealants for children because it protects them from later on developing cavities.  Sealants are best suited for the first molars that are permanent, which grow in around age six, and the second molars, which usually erupt around age twelve.

Can sealants protect your child’s teeth?
According to research, about ninety-five percent of the population has a probability of developing cavities in the grooves and pits of their teeth.

In the 1950s, sealants were developed, but not until the 1970s were they commercially available.  In 1972, the ADA Council on Therapeutics (American Dental Association) accepted the first sealant.  Sealants fill up the chewing crevasses to block out food particles that may get stuck in the teeth, which cause cavities.  Sealants are easy and fast to apply, and most importantly, protect the teeth for many years.  Research has shown that putting sealants on the teeth can eliminate cavities for teeth that are partially decayed by blocking off the source of nutrients for the bacteria.

Sealants act as a buffer against food particles and bacteria that can collect and sit on the pits and grooves of the teeth.

As soon as your child’s teeth have erupted, I recommend that you puts sealants because is the most effective way of preventing cavities.  Your child’s new teeth are healthy and that is why sealants are most effective for children because it maintains the healthy state of the teeth.  Sixty-five percent of all cavities, according to recent research, begin in the grooves and pits of your child’s brand new teeth because of bacteria and lodged food particles.

Application of Sealants
The application of the sealant is simple.  I first clean the surface of the teeth by removing all traces of the cleaning agent.  I then apply a gel on the surface of the teeth, or enamel, including the grooves and pits.  I will leave on the solution for 15 seconds, after that I will carefully rinse out the mouth with water.  Once the teeth are completely dry, I will put on the special sealant and will wait until it hardens.  After it hardens, I will use a powerful light.

On average, sealants will last five years.  I routinely examine your child’s teeth sealants to make sure they are still working.  Sealants are exceedingly effective at preventing tooth decay on chewing surfaces.

Sealants are usually covered by your insurance because in the long run, they lower dental expenses by protecting the teeth from invasive treatments.[2]

 

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