In the world of dentistry, there are myriad terms and procedures that can make being a patient overwhelming. At Salvatore Dental, we recognize that between visits our patients could use some general information as to what some of the common words and procedures they encounter in our Ballston Spa office mean.
To accomplish this, we created blogs like these! Today we will be looking into dental sealants, what they are, and what they do! Keep reading to learn more and contact our office today to schedule your next visit!
The What, Why, And How Of Dental Sealants
A dental sealant is simply a covering that is applied to your teeth (usually the molars and premolars) that protects the enamel from normal wear and tear. Considering it can be difficult to thoroughly clean all of the hard to reach crevices and gaps around your molars and premolars with only brushing and flossing, they’re applied as an extra layer of protection .
As the name implies, sealants effectively seal the teeth in a protective layer, which prevents foods, drinks, and other substances that could cause tooth decay from coming in contact with the tooth’s enamel.
How They’re Applied
Dental sealants are made of plastic, and the process to apply them to your teeth is simple. As with most procedures in a dental office, first the teeth receiving sealants are deep-cleaned to ensure that nothing that could compromise the teeth’s health gets trapped between the sealant and enamel.
After the initial cleaning, the teeth are thoroughly dried before being treated with an acidic solution. While this may seem counterintuitive to improving the health of the teeth, this step of the process is in place to optimize the tooth’s surface so the sealant can adhere to it. Then there is another rinsing and thorough drying of the teeth.
After the surfaces of the teeth are prepared, the sealant is applied by painting the liquid plastic onto the teeth. At this point the procedure is completed. In some cases, a curing light to hasten the hardening of the sealant.
Who Needs Them And How Often
The amazing thing about sealants is that anyone who has molars and/or premolars void of decay or fillings can benefit from them. While you don’t technically need them, they’re a great, passive way to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Most dental insurance plans cover sealants entirely for minors, so they’re a great, free preventative health measure for those who have dental coverage. Even still, if you’re financially able to invest in sealants, you should. The extra layer of protection they provide to your molars is a definite benefit!
For those of you who do have sealants, they can last for up to 10 years! Although they are capable of lasting that long, make sure that you have them checked each time you visit the dentist. Due to the nature of the sealants, they’re prone to wearing or chipping over time. However, if you do have a chipped or worn down sealant, they can easily be removed and replaced as needed!
We really hope that this blog has helped answer some of your questions about dental sealants! And remember, if you have any more questions about sealants or dentistry in general, give our office a call!
And if you’re in need of expert dental services in the Ballston Spa area, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to have you!