Dental Sealant Procedures and Benefits

Posted by Muslim on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A dental sealant is a plastic resin typically applied to the back teeth called molars or premolars. The chewing surfaces and gaps between the teeth are coated to protect the surfaces of the teeth from decay due to the effects of acids and plaque. Sealants work with fluorides to reduce cavities. 

The procedure for application of a dental sealant is simple and straight-forward. After the surfaces and gaps of the teeth have been cleaned a preparatory gel is placed on the areas to be coated. In just a few seconds the teeth are washed and dried again are are ready for the sealant. The sealant is then brushed onto the teeth and allowed to dry. The dentist or the assistant may use a bright light on the area to speed the drying process. Once the sealant has completely dried the seal over the teeth is complete. The sealant is very durable lasting anywhere from five to as many as ten years. At each maintenance cleaning the dentist will examine the condition of the sealant to assure integrity of the seal. The sealant is not visible and comes in tinted, white, or clear finishes depending on the best match to the patient. Sealants are usually applied to the teeth of children during elementary school years as this is when the teeth have emerged and also when they are most likely to experience tooth decay due to acids and plaques as well as the effects of poor dental hygiene. 

The benefits of using a dental sealant are well worth the modest investment. Any decay to the teeth is permanent. The seal will mean less cavities which translates into less fillings in the teeth sealed. Each time a tooth is drilled and filled it becomes weaker and more susceptible to more cavities and cracking which may lead to the need for a crown or a bridge. The costs of cavities and crowns is much higher than applying the sealant and maintaining with cleanings and check-ups. Sealants are much more comfortable in the mouth than fillings. Fillings can make the tooth more sensitive to cold and hot foods and drink. 

Of course, a dental sealant alone does not constitute a complete dental hygiene program. A good daily habit of thorough brushing with an ADA approved toothpaste or gel is recommended. Flossing should be a regular part of a good maintenance program along with cleanings twice a year.

source : holistic health articles

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