Children today have far less tooth decay than previous generations thanks to fluoride and other advancements in dental care, but there can still be problem areas on the back teeth. Back teeth have grooves and pits that are extremely difficult for you to keep plaque-free and food-free.
Dental sealants are helpful for this area of your mouth. A dental sealant is a plastic resin coating that works a bit like nail polish. The dental sealant starts as a liquid-like material that flows into the pits and grooves of the tooth. A special light is then used to harden the material so that it creates a barricade that cuts off the oxygen and bacteria that cause decay. The dental sealant creates a smooth surface on your tooth so that food and bacteria don’t have pits and grooves to catch in. Studies show that 95% of children’s teeth that had sealants were cavity free for 5 years post-sealant.
The sealant process is very easy. Since it is done on the surface of your tooth, you do not need to be numb. Your tooth is cleaned, a process similar to what is done when you have your dental cleaning and check up. Then, we put a gel on your tooth to prepare the surface to hold the sealant. After a few seconds, the gel is rinsed off with water, and your tooth is dried with air. The sealant is flowed onto your tooth and the special light cures the resin so that it stays in place.
Your tooth needs to be kept saliva-free during this process so you will probably have cotton rolls or other saliva absorbers in place during sealant placement.
Sealants can be done at any age and on any back tooth, but they are most often done before age 14 on adult molars (the big teeth in the back of your mouth). Your first molars come in around age 6 and your second molars around age 12. Most insurances cover this preventive service—but there are often age limits. So what are you waiting for?
If you are interested in dental sealants and do not have a general dentist, Dr. Robb is accepting new patients and would be happy to evaluate your teeth for sealant placement. Call 440-960-1940 to schedule your appointment. Dr. Robb’s office is located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd. in Lorain, OH.
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