Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth for cavity prevention. Most instances of tooth decay in children and teens occur in this area. Sealants function to protect the chewing surfaces from a tooth infection by preventing food particles and germs from entering via the grooved surfaces of the back teeth.
Sealants are a potent weapon in dental caries prevention, saving money, time and avoiding the discomfort often associated with dental fillings. Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Austin is pleased to offer this procedure, and happy to answer any questions a parent may have about their child's suitability for this technique.
Advantages of Dental Sealants
There are many reasons one should get sealants:
- Lessens the instances of tooth decay, so you can avoid costly and uncomfortable cavity treatments down the line.
- Prevents tooth aches
- Sealants are very thin, so they are virtually un-noticeable.
- Generally last between five to ten years.
- Sealants are checked at every appointment, and re-applied if no longer in place.
Dental Sealant Candidates
The permanent molars are the teeth most likely to benefit from the application of sealants. Children usually have their first molars around the age of six, and the second molars come in approximately six years later. Dental professionals agree that it is advisable that any sealants be applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have had a chance to fall prey to tooth decay.
Dental Sealant Procedure
Applying dental sealants requires no drilling or removal of existing tooth structure. During this easy and short process the tooth is cleaned, and then a special gel is applied to the tooth surface for a few seconds. The tooth is then washed down and dried. Next, the sealant is applied to the tooth surface, and is often hardened with the use of a dental light. In under a minute, a protective shield is in place to protect it from a tooth infection.
As part of a comprehensive preventative approach to your child's dental care, sealants are a pro-active way to protect their precious smile. Contact Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to learn more about how sealants can help you.