Brushing and flossing are usually a surefire way of ensuring you don’t get any cavities, but sometimes it’s unavoidable when the brush and floss aren’t able to reach every nook and cranny of every tooth. Since our teeth are not made completely smooth, there are ridges that prove difficult to clean thoroughly every time, and after a while may cause those ridges to decay. To prevent this decay, sealants can be used to add another layer of protection. While most sealants are applied to kids since they are more prone to cavities, sealants can be beneficial for patients of all ages. A sealant is essentially a thin coating applied to the back teeth to keep them clean and prevent cavities from occurring.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
Sealants can be applied during your twice a year check-up appointment and is often recommended by your dentist if they notice tooth decay beginning in one of those back teeth among the ridges. Bismarck Advanced Dental and Implants will inspect the mouth and teeth and if minimal decay is found, they will gently remove it, and then the tooth will be cleaned and dried. Then a solution will be applied to the bone to add coarseness so the sealant can adhere better. The tooth is then cleaned and dried once more, and the sealant is then painted on the tooth and takes about 1-2 minutes to harden. Sometimes a curing light is used to speed up the hardening process. Most sealants are made from plastic material, but some dental offices prefer other materials.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can benefit patients of all ages: adults, teens, young adults, and kids. They are most commonly applied to kids who are much more susceptible to cavities since they are just learning how to brush. In all patients, sealants add an extra layer for cavity and decay protection. Sealants also protect against damage caused by sugary food and drinks as well as poor diets often seen in teens and young adults.
Sealants vs. Fillings
While fillings and sealants are similar and both prevent cavities, there are some major differences among the two. Sealants are more of a preventative measure against cavities and tooth decay, and are used as protection against them from ever forming. Fillings are used to fix a cavity that is already there and prevent them from getting any bigger.
Who Can Get Sealants?
Any patient can receive dental sealants, and our expert dentists in our Bismarck Advanced Dental and Implants office are careful to recommend this procedure if we see a need for them in a patient. We don’t want you to have cavities any more than you do. With that said, you can count on us to provide preventive medicine as well as effective treatment to all of our patients and promise to treat you like family through the whole process.
Symptoms of Needing a Replacement Sealant
After you have received one or more dental sealants they are relatively low maintenance, however eventually they become old and experience wear and tear. Sealants are expected to last anywhere from 6-10 years. When sealants become old they can crack and don’t add as much protection to the teeth. When this happens your sealants need to be replaced. Your dentist should be able to tell you when this time comes so the sealants can be replaced and your teeth protected once again.
If you need to get sealants or suspect your existing sealants may need replacing, come see our trusted dentists at Bismarck Advanced Dental and Implants. We will take care of your every dental need and make sure you leave with a smile.