What is the purpose of dental sealants

What Is the Purpose of Dental Sealants?

Dec 01, 2022

What Are Dental Sealants?

They are thin, clear, plastic-like coatings that help prevent decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. Dental sealants feature different materials that can fill the pits and fissures of back teeth to create barriers that shield teeth from bacterial infections. While dental sealants are types of dental fillings, their uniqueness lies in preventing infections rather than treating damaged teeth.

The procedure for dental sealants is not complex. The dentist cleans the tooth to remove any debris and food residue. Afterward, (s)he paints the sealant over the back teeth, hardening it with a laser or UV light.

Who Needs Dental Sealants?

At Dr. Teeth Dental Care – Katy, dental sealants are ideal for people with weak tooth enamels or who have a high possibility of getting dental cavities. Ideally, dental sealants are popular and suitable in pediatric dentistry to treat children. However, adults too benefit from dental sealants. Our dental team has identified several factors that increase the risk of dental cavities, heightening the need for dental sealants in Katy. They include:

  1. High consumption of sugary foods like candies and sodas.
  2. Having diabetes which increases your risk of gum disease and other oral infections.
  3. Weak, soft, and worn down teeth enamels that cause tooth hypersensitivity.
  4. Oddly shaped back teeth – so that you have abnormally deep fissures and depressions.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Dental sealants near you work in two main ways. The first is by creating a protective barrier over teeth, sealing them from the entry of bacteria. When your dentist in Katy, TX, applies the sealant material on your chewing surface, it hardens to bond with your tooth. Afterward, bacteria and acids cannot directly impact the tooth enamel.

The second approach is by releasing fluoride. Some types of dental sealants called glass ionomers contain fluoride. While the sealant is over your teeth, it releases fluoride gradually. Fluoride is a natural mineral, otherwise found in food sources like tap water. The mineral helps build strong teeth while increasing their resistance to bacteria that cause dental infections. Therefore, dental sealants containing fluoride have a double-action protection mechanism for fighting bacteria that cause dental cavities.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Dentists do not typically recommend dental sealants near you when you have already developed dental cavities on your teeth. Usually, tooth sealants are for proactive dental care. However, sometimes a dental sealant in Katy can protect your tooth during the early stages of cavity development. The dentist would have to remove the damaged part of the tooth before applying the sealant material. Still, the damage must not be advanced enough, destroying a substantial portion of your tooth enamel. Besides, during the initial stages of cavity development, fluoride treatment can reverse it.

Are Dental Sealants Effective for Preventive Dental Care?

Dental experts have substantial evidence providing that dental sealants prevent up to 80% of cavities in the back teeth for the first three years. After that, the effectiveness reduces to 50%. Therefore, you must liaise with your dentist now and then to know the best time to repair or replace your dental sealants.

Besides, dental sealants help improve oral hygiene. Patients with deep fissures in back teeth have a hard time keeping their teeth clean. Dental sealants fill the pits and depressions, making it easier to clean them to discourage plaque build-up.

Is It Enough to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are only effective for fighting cavities in the premolars and molars. Therefore, although you will prevent 9 in 10 cavities on back teeth, preventive dentistry with dental sealants is not enough. Take up other dental measures to protect the rest of your teeth. Besides, you also need to cater to the other portions of your teeth, including between teeth. Other necessary dental tips are:

  1. Brush and floss your teeth daily.
  2. Visit your dentist regularly for routine dental exams and cleanings.
  3. Get routine fluoride treatments.
  4. Moderate your intake of sugary and acidic foods like sodas and candies.
  5. Eat healthy foods that increase mineral absorption in your mouth.
  6. Avoid taking alcohol and quit smoking and other tobacco usage.
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