Dental Sealants: What, Where, and Why to Use Them

If you’ve never heard of them, dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that protect teeth from decay. They’re usually applied to the chewing surfaces of children’s and young teen’s teeth to prevent food and germs from getting stuck in naturally occurring pits and grooves. However, adults without dental decay or fillings may benefit from sealants as well.

Your Century City cosmetic dentist can help you decide whether dental sealants are right for you or your children.

Understanding the Benefits of Dental Sealants

Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to get your child or teenager to brush his or her teeth properly. Utilizing all the dental tools available to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist – such as dental sealants, fluoride, and regular checkups – can help.

The primary benefit of dental sealants is to protect molars and premolar teeth from decay. The bristles of a toothbrush in the hands of a young person can’t always successfully clean teeth, especially the molars in the back of the mouth. Germs, bacteria, and plaque accumulate and attack the enamel. Over time cavities develop.

Placing dental sealants on the first permanent baby molars provides added protection to this area. These teeth typically have deep fissures, grooves, and/or pits. However, molars and premolars often continue to erupt until around the age of thirteen. Therefore, your Century City cosmetic dentist may suggest sealing these teeth after they have erupted beyond the gum.

Applying Dental Sealants to Teeth

To apply dental sealants, your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist will clean and dry the tooth surface thoroughly. The teeth are then treated with an acid wash to create a rough surface to which the sealant will bond. Once more your Century City cosmetic dentist will dry your teeth. Finally, he will apply the liquid dental sealant, painting it onto the tooth enamel.

Sometimes dentists use a curing light to harden the sealant. Dental sealants take a very short time to apply. They may be clear, white, or slightly tinted and can last as long as ten years. They hold up well under normal chewing conditions. During regular visits to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, he will review the condition of the dental sealant and reapply as necessary.

For more information on the use of dental sealants, dental implants, veneers, sedation dentistry, or any of the other dental treatments and procedures we provide, please review our website, read our blog, and then give us a call.