The things we eat most times can expose our teeth to bacteria, which, in turn, lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay does not just begin immediately; it starts the process whereby bacteria are introduced, and if it not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it begins to develop further into a tooth decay by attacking the enamel.
Besides regular brushing of teeth, twice daily, and flossing, there are other ways you can prevent and protect your teeth from dental decay, and this is through dental sealants. At the Cosmetic Dentistry clinic, we help our patients who require dental sealants with the procedure— it can be done on the same day and help you protect your teeth from decay. Visit us today at Harley Street, London, or call us on 02071830755 to book an appointment.
Dental sealants are coatings made of plastic that are placed on the chewing surface of the premolars and the molars — it is to protect your tooth from decay.
The back teeth (molars and premolars), have deep fissures or grooves in them. These grooves are where food particles can get lodged and accumulate into plagues. It is easier for plagues to develop in these grooves because they are not easy to clean. The grooves in question can be deep and as narrow as possible, even to the point where a bristle of toothbrush cannot penetrate it for cleaning.
If the groove is not cleaned, the acid present in the bacteria, stimulates an attack with the plague, on the enamel, leading to cavities.
The dental sealants, when placed on the grooved areas, provide a smooth surface over the grooves, protecting them and making them easier to be cleaned.
Usually, the first dental sealant can be placed on the first permanent molar tooth, after it has wholly erupted from the gum. The premolars and molars begin to erupt, and continue from ages eleven — once the tooth has completely erupted, they can be protected with the dental sealant. To be sure that your teeth are ready for dental sealants, you can seek help from your dentist.
Dental sealants are used mostly on the premolars and molars because they have grooves. This doesn't mean they cannot be used on other permanent teeth. Once there are grooves or fissures present on such other teeth, they can be protected using dental sealant.
In some cases, there are grooves on the molars of children. Dental sealants can also be placed on such temporary or primary teeth. However, before such decisions are taken, it must have been discussed and recommended by your dentist.
Depending on the dental sealant used, they can come in different colours. Some are white, while others may be clear or have a slight tint to it. The choice you make will also depend on your preference.
Actually, yes they can. Although it is not very common, adults who are at risk of cavities can have dental sealants placed on the grooves or fissures of their teeth—it is possible if they do not have implants already, like fillings.
Before a dental sealant is placed on the chewing surface, the tooth surface will be cleaned thoroughly with a rotating brush, and a paste—your dentist or hygienist do the cleaning.
After cleaning, using water, the tooth is washed and dried, and an acidic solution is placed on the fissured area on the chewing surface of the tooth for some seconds before it is rinsed off.
This activity creates a fine rougher surface than the surrounding enamel and small microscopic areas for the sealant to attach to the tooth. Afterwards, the tooth is dried, and the dental sealant in liquid form is applied to the tooth. The sealant is hardened by a light that hardens dental sealants, or by a two-component dental sealant.
The two-component dental sealant does not require the lights, as it can set on its own. When the sealant hardens, it becomes a hard plastic varnish coating, and then you can begin to chew on it again.
Unlike some other dental procedures, dental sealants application is a painless procedure that does not require drilling into the bone or numbing the area. Dental sealants application takes place in three stages:
This is where the surface of the tooth where the dental sealant is to be applied on is polished to remove plague and then etched with the solution. Afterwards, it is rinsed off, and the tooth is isolated and dried.
This is where the sealant material is applied to the surface of the tooth using a brush. The sealant hardens and is bonded to the tooth surface when a self-curing light is shone on it for about 30 seconds.
This is the point where the dentist checks on the dental sealant and its occlusion. Once it becomes hard, you are free to chew on the tooth again.
Dental sealants can last for years —it is highly effective in preventing decay on tooth chewing surfaces. Surprisingly, dental sealants have been in use since the 1970s, so there is a great faith in its efficiency.
If you want to get a dental sealant to protect your chewing surface from decay, then visit our Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic on Harley Street, London. Our dental team are highly experienced and qualified. Do give us a call today on 02071830755.
Fluoride protects the entire parts of the teeth from tooth decay and not just the chewing surface. Dental sealants do not protect other parts of the teeth. So, you can still use fluoride to protect the different parts of your teeth even after dental sealants.
Want more information about dental sealants? Then give us today!