Sealants are a simple and relatively inexpensive way to reduce the risk of cavities, particularly in children and teenagers. For decades, dentists have used these thin plastic coatings to create a physical barrier against tooth decay and cavities. The sealants adhere to the rough chewing surfaces of the back teeth to block out bacteria and acid that can threaten the integrity of the teeth.
Sealants are available with Dr. Robert Steinberger of East Tremont Dental. When applied by a knowledgeable, experienced dentist and checked regularly, sealants can protect your teeth for years to come.
When Are Sealants Recommended?
People of all ages can benefit from dental sealants, but dentists believe that sealants are particularly useful for children and teenagers. According to the American Dental Association, the earlier they are applied, the better.
Molars have numerous grooves that can trap particles of food, as well as bacteria that naturally exists within the mouth. Although brushing and flossing are the best way to clean out food and bacteria, it is not easy to clean every tiny nook and cranny. The bacteria can feed on leftover food particles, producing an acid that creates holes in the teeth (i.e., cavities).
But by placing sealants over these teeth, dentists can prevent the bacteria from leading to cavities. In the long term, sealed, cavity-free teeth are much stronger and healthier than teeth that need to be filled and restored. Avoiding cavities can also save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long term.
Placing Dental Sealants
The process to place a dental sealant is quick painless. Children can have sealants placed as soon as their permanent molars “erupt” or grow into the mouth.
First, Dr. Steinberger will clean and dry the tooth or teeth to be sealed. Next, Dr. Steinberger will place an acidic gel on the tooth to roughen up the tooth structure, preparing it for the placement of the sealant. This creates a stronger bond with the sealant. After a few seconds, Dr. Steinberger will rinse off the gel and dry the tooth. Then, he will apply a liquid plastic coating to the pits and fissures of the tooth’s chewing surfaces. He will finish by using a special blue light to harden the sealant.
Sealants are very strong and very well tolerated. It is extremely rare to experience an adverse reaction to a dental sealant. Sealants should be checked regularly by a dentist and repaired or reapplied when needed. With the proper maintenance, sealants can last for several years.
Contact East Tremont Dental
For more information about preventing cavities with dental sealants, please call us 718.823.3000 today. We are committed to helping you enjoy healthy, strong teeth for life!