November 14, 2012

More About Dental Sealants

Sealants can help preserve a child’s smile for a lifetime.  Though dental sealants are not a cure-all in preventing tooth decay, they are cost-effective and helpful to patients – particularly children – in controlling decay in the back teeth with grooves.

Sealants are valuable in preventing decay because they seal the tooth grooves which are virtually impossible to clean effectively.  Even a single toothbrush bristle cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food particles, bacteria and plaque. 

In this painless procedure, a solution is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth to condition the enamel and help it bond more effectively to the sealant material.  The tooth is thoroughly washed and dried.  Then the sealant material is applied and allowed to harden, sometimes using ultraviolet light.  The procedure takes only a few minutes.

Depending on your chewing pattern, the sealant effect can last many years.  Even though sealant material is durable, at subsequent dental appointments we make sure the sealant material is intact.  Occasionally, we might need to replace or add a new layer of sealant material to keep the protective barrier strong and effective.

For more information about sealants and other dental topics visit

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