The chewing surfaces on the molars and premolars can be very vulnerable to tooth decay. Dental sealants placed on the back teeth can help prevent damage or decay and help create smoother surfaces that are easier to maintain and clean.
Dental sealants are typically used in children with developing teeth, but they can also be used for adults who have molars and premolars that are trapping bacteria. The treatment consists of painting a fine layer of plastic, acrylic coating over the grooves and depressions of the back teeth. This coating establishes a barrier against bacteria and harmful acids that could cause further damage.
The molars and premolars are at their highest risk of cavities or decay when the grooves and depressions of their chewing surfaces are too deep or narrow for the bristles on your toothbrush to clean them effectively. Even with regular brushing habits, bacteria can linger and become trapped in these grooves and depressions. If left there, the bacteria may cause damage or decay that could cause more serious issues.
The process of applying dental sealants is very simple, and it can usually be achieved in just one visit to our dental practice. The process begins with a thorough cleaning of the tooth that will be sealed. The tooth will then be dried and treated with an etching solution. This etching solution will make the outer surfaces a bit rougher, creating a more conducive place for the bonding to occur. After letting the tooth dry again, we will carefully apply the sealant coating. The final step involves a proper assessment of the patient’s overall bite, for comfort and functionality. Once the sealant is bonded, you can return to your normal diet and routine!