Experienced Buffalo Dentist Providing Affordable Dental Sealant Treatment in Amherst, Williamsville and Throughout WNY.
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.
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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. To learn more about dental sealants, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo dentist.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
Preventing tooth decay is crucial to having great oral hygiene. When you have a sealant, you are decreasing the chance of any new form of tooth decay by as much as 70%. Sealants have been proven to be highly effective while also being great by reducing the need of needing any other form of preventative therapy. There has been concern of BPA being released into the saliva, but studies have shown this to only last a few hours and it was not able to be detected after 24 hours.
Are Dental Sealants Necessary?
Dentists have shown that dental sealants are not necessary. They are not necessary when trying to prevent cavities. It is not something that needs to be applied to all of the teeth in the back. Sealant is not able to be applied on any surfaces that are smooth. Because of this, sealant will not prevent any cavities from developing in between teeth. This still remains true even if the surface of the teeth have had sealant applied to them.
How Effective Are Dental Sealants?
When you have sealants applied, they are able to protect against around 80% of cavities. This is only for up to two years. The effectiveness decreases as time goes on; they protect against 50% of cavities for about four years. When you are receiving a sealant, you are getting rid of the need for any invasive and expensive treatments such as crowns or fillings.
Can Dental Sealants Come Off?
It is possible for sealants to fall off. They are able to work for up to nine years some studies have shown. If you have sealants placed, you should have them regularly checked at your annual appointments. If you do lose a sealant your teeth or tooth are no longer protected from developing a cavity. If your dentist notices any wear or tear on the sealant they can touch it up while you are in for your annual appointment.
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Schedule an appointment with experienced Buffalo dentist Douglas Hamill, DDS today to see if dental sealants are right for you.