Even if you’re one of the two-thirds of Americans who regularly see a dentist, you may not be familiar with dental sealants or preventative restorative resin (PRRs). Since a lot of people have had cavities (aka dental caries), it’s a bit surprising that sealants or PRRs are still not well-known and are underappreciated. Dental sealants are offered here at Soothing Dental, dentist in San Francisco.
Sealants Help Protect Against Cavities for Years
This preventative measure can be especially important in kids, since they do not yet have much experience with caries to motivate them, or the skills to brush thoroughly for two minutes after breakfast and dinner. Teens know this is important, but may find their permanent teeth crowded or hard to clean, or just not pay attention to that aspect of personal hygiene yet.
It’s especially hard to brush off the chewing surfaces of the back teeth that handle most of the chewing (molars and premolars) and sometimes even the back of the top front teeth if they have a lot of crevices; that would create a perfect environment for the bacteria to turn the food leftovers to a sticky film on the teeth called plaque. Plaque, over time, creates an acidic environment on the teeth which then leads to cavity formation on those surfaces.
Dental Sealants Help Protect Your Teeth
Decision is made as to which teeth in one’s mouth need the protection due to access or care issues, and sometimes just due to the limitation in the anatomy of the mouth and the teeth.
The first step before a sealant is applied is a professional cleaning of those surfaces where the sealants are to be applied to. Then a gel (etchant) is applied to roughen up the surface microscopically to help with adhering & bonding the sealants on. The gel is then rinsed off and depending on the practitioner, sometimes a bonding later is added while in other times no bond is used. Then the sealant is painted on. The sealants is cured or set in its place using a special blue light. Bite is checked and adjusted per needed. And that is it!
Sealants protect their underlying structures from food impaction and consequently from decay formation. But they definitely don’t last forever. They need to be maintained and checked regularly to ensure that the seal is in good shape.
If you have not had a dental examination in the past six months, including a full set of digital x-rays (which involve minimal radiation) to detect hidden caries, determine the health of your teeth, call today or make your appointment online.