Since the 1970’s dental sealants (also called pit and fissure sealants) have been helping to keep cavities at arm’s length with a proven track record for effectiveness. Dental sealants act as barriers against the development of cavities on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. Because the molars sit in the back of the mouth making brushing and flossing thoroughly more of a challenge, sealants add an extra layer of cavity prevention.
Due to their flat surface on the top, molars aquire fissures and grooves which make it easy for harmful bacteria and sticky plaque to hide out in. Sealants keep out this bacteria, plaque and food debris that would otherwise accumulate in these fissures and lead to dental caries.
Dental sealants are applied in just one easy visit, and it is a painless procedure. A thin plastic coating is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Once the sealant is painted on the tooth enamel, it bonds to the tooth as it hardens. This resin can be slightly tinted, white like a tooth, or clear. The sealants are checked during future dental cleanings to ensure they are free from cracks and are effectively keeping out bacteria and plaque.
Sealants typically last anywhere from 5-7 years, but 10 years is not uncommon if they are properly cared for and intact (no cracks and fissures in the sealant material). While sealants are commonly used on the teeth of children and teenagers, adults who tend towards cavities but have molars with no cavities or fillings are also viable candidates for the added protection which sealants provide.
At Smiley Dental & Orthodontics in Dallas Texas, our staff offers sealants for a healthy smile. Along with daily brushing and flossing and scheduled six month dental cleanings, dental sealants offer an extra layer of protection in cavity prevention. Please call us today at 214.321.8400 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.