Dental Sealants Are a Great Way to Prevent Cavities!
April 18, 2017  |  General Dentistry

Dental Sealants Are a Great Way to Prevent Cavities!

Pit and Fissure Dental Sealants are like little plastic coatings for teeth.

They are brushed or painted onto the tooth – in the deep grooves and pit areas. ( Think nail polish) Dental Sealants are done as a preventive measure to help keep teeth healthy, strong and cavity free. They are most often done on permanent bicuspids and molars. These are your chewing teeth. If you did not have sealants done when you were a child,  you can look in a mirror, you can see little grooves and sometimes even staining in the pits of these teeth. Or, your teeth might already have fillings in these areas. These areas are developmental grooves and pits from the tooth forming. Sometimes during the formation of the teeth, there are defects in these areas too.

Cavity Prone Areas

Pits and fissures – or grooves – are the areas prone to decay because they trap food and bacteria. This causes Cavities! Even the best brushers cannot keep these areas clean because the bristles of the brush are too big to fit into the grooves. We recommend sealants to be done once the adult molars and bicuspids have fully erupted in the child’s mouth. This is usually around age 6 for the first permanent molars. Then periodically as bicuspids erupt and again at age 12 when the 2nd molars come in.

What is the Process?

To apply the dental sealants, the teeth must be cleaned well, then dried. An Etch solution is applied to the teeth. This helps bond the sealant to the tooth. The etch is rinsed off really well and then the tooth is dried again. The sealant material is applied to the teeth with a syringe like brush applicator. Then we use an Ultraviolet light to cure or harden the sealant. The sealant is checked to make sure the proper hardness and bonding has occurred. The average lifespan of a sealant is 1 – 10 years. This can vary greatly due to peoples habits, home care, ice chewing, and bruxism ( tooth grinding).

Patients with sealants should be careful to not eat real sticky – chewy candies. They also should not chew Ice or really hard candy. This can cause the sealants to crack and pieces of the sealant can come off. Sometimes the whole sealant comes off if kids crunch on lots of hard things! If the sealant comes off, the tooth is no longer protected in those vulnerable areas. Clenching or Grinding can also cause fractures of sealants or make them come completely off.

Regular Check-ups are necessary to make sure the dental sealants have not come off, or are chipping. If it comes off, it needs to be replaced. If you know you have a broken or lost sealant, you should call our office for an appointment to have it replaced. 920-733-2445

We Are Ready To See You. Welcome Back!

We have always put our patients and team’s health and safety first and will continue to do so! During the shelter in place our team has been busy reinforcing what we have always done to keep our patients safe and secure as well as implement additional steps so that we could re-open with confidence! Our vision is to keep our patients informed and supported every step of the way. We want you to know:

  • That we are paying close attention to the evolving CDC guidelines and will continue to make our practice safe for all those we are honored to serve.
  • Our team has worked diligently to make sure that all social distancing requirements are in place, so that every patient can come back to care with confidence.
  • Your dental health is important and impacts your overall health and we are committed to supporting each and every one of you as we return to full services beyond emergency care.
  • Our hygienists have streamlined their protocols, so that patients can return to their continuing care intervals, which are key in maintaining health and well-being.
  • We will continue to post updates, as well as tips to keep you healthy during these unprecedented times on our Facebook Page Westhilldentalappleton. We invite you to join the conversation!

We look forward to seeing you soon! Our greatest reward comes from serving our dental family!