Dental Sealants in Buffalo, NY
Experienced Buffalo Dentist Providing Affordable Dental Sealant Treatment
Dental sealants are a great way to fortify your teeth against tooth decay, cavities, and other related dental conditions.
When brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice a day is not enough, you may be tempted to investigate other options. Of course, no one should stop brushing or flossing, and regular visits to a dentist are important in the battle against plaque, but when daily oral care is not effective in completely stopping the incidence of cavities, there are alternatives available. Though they are far more often used as preventative measures in pediatric dentistry, tooth sealants can benefit individuals of all ages. Once applied, a tooth sealant fortifies the teeth against tooth decay, cavities, and other related dental conditions.
In order to “seal” a tooth, a dentist applies a plastic coating to the tooth’s surface. This coating can be made of glass ionomer cement or a synthetic composite resin, and it is most effective when it is placed in the small indentations on the surfaces of the premolars and molars. These teeth provides an evolutionary advantage to mammals—the shape of molars and premolars is ideal for grinding food into smaller particles while chewing—but this comes at a cost. The grooves on the exteriors of molars and premolars can promote the growth of acid-producing bacteria, making these teeth especially susceptible to plaque buildup. The application of a dental sealant can help to protect these harder-to-reach teeth from such decay; when the sealant is placed in these grooves, the surface of the tooth becomes more level, making it more difficult for bacteria to congregate and attack the enamel.
Dental sealants are a popular choice in pediatric dentistry, as early intervention can protect newly erupted permanent teeth from decay and other complications. Nevertheless, sealants are also recommended for adults, as age does not play a role at all in the potential effectiveness of a sealant. Deciduous (baby) teeth are not usually sealed, but a dentist may suggest using a dental sealant under certain conditions. Sealants are non-toxic, and they typically remain on the surface of the teeth for only three to five years, though remnants of sealants on teeth can linger for a decade or longer. Unfortunately, dental sealants are only effective when they are undamaged and whole, so it is important to ensure during appointments with your dentist that any sealants on your teeth are still intact. Gradual wear and tear can weaken the sealant, allowing bacteria access to the enamel and exposing the teeth to the risk of infection.
The application process for dental sealants is a simple procedure. First, your dentist will locate and repair all cavities and other sites where decay has occurred. Then, once the surfaces of the teeth have been cleaned, your dentist will dry your teeth, apply the sealant to each tooth that you have selected to protect, and allow the sealant to dry and solidify. The procedure varies in length depending on how many teeth you will have chosen to seal, but it should last less than an hour. Once the sealant has crystallized on the surface of your teeth, you will have a protective coating against the wiles of bacteria for years to come.