Dental sealants are a great preventive treatment that can protect some of your most vulnerable teeth from decay. Dental sealants are a plastic coating that seals your teeth against food and bacteria, protecting them from decay. They used to be recommended mostly for children and teens, but recently we have come to appreciate the value for adults, too.
Offering dental sealants is one of the ways that we at Oasis Dental Arts prioritize preventive dentistry. Sealants are an inexpensive but highly effective approach that can protect your teeth from decay and stop the process that can lead to tooth decay and destruction. To learn how dental sealants can help you, please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with Scripps Ranch dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants can reduce the risk of tooth decay for most people. However, they are particularly helpful for people who have an elevated risk of tooth decay in their back teeth. This includes people with:
- Deep cracks and crevices in molars
- Difficulty cleaning back teeth
- People with retained wisdom teeth
- Current or recurrent decay in back teeth
- A diet that increases tooth decay risk
Because dental sealants are inexpensive and can last a long time (up to ten years), and prevent up to 80% of cavities during that time, they are considered a good investment for most people. After researching dental sealants, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) concludes that sealants, “save time and money in the long run by avoiding fillings, crowns, or caps used to fix decayed teeth.“
How Dental Sealants Work
Our back teeth, known as premolars and molars (wisdom teeth are your third molars) have irregular chewing surfaces. These chewing surfaces can help us crunch and grind particularly challenging food. They were much more necessary when raw seeds, stems, and other roughage were a more common part of our daily diet. With modern cooking and processing of food, these cracks and crevices are less necessary for eating, and they become repositories of food and oral bacteria.
Once this food and bacteria gets trapped there, it can begin the decay process, which creates pits and fissures at the base of your natural tooth features. These are even less accessible, and accumulate more food and bacteria, accelerating decay.
Dental sealants coat these back teeth, filling in some of the less accessible cracks and crevices to keep food and bacteria from accumulating there. As long as your teeth are sealed, they won’t get decay on those surfaces.
The Dental Sealant Process
We perform a comprehensive dental exam before applying dental sealants, including laser cavity detection. We want to make sure your teeth are free of decay before we place sealants. If there is any decay, we will treat it. Sealant can be applied over existing decay if it’s been treated.
Then we will wash your teeth with a light acid. This completes the cleaning and provides a light etch that helps the sealants stick to your teeth. Then the sealant material is painted onto your teeth. A special light is used to harden the dental sealants. The whole process takes just a few minutes, but the benefits can last for up to ten years!
Are Dental Sealants Right for You?
If you have a history of decay on your molars, or know that this problem runs in your family, you can save yourself time, money, and hassle by getting sealants.
If you want to learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental sealants in Scripps Ranch, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi.