Sealants: What is the Value?Posted Sep 11, 2014 in Dental Health, Pediatric
Sealants: What is the Value?
Why are sealants important; when we place them; and how? These are legitimate questions. Sealants are applied to molars, once the molar tooth has first erupted in young children. The occlusal surface or “chewing surface” of molar teeth have grooves that make them susceptible to decay. They are susceptible because the groves can be deep and/or narrow; so narrow that the bristles of your toothbrush cannot even reach into them. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride is a great way to prevent decay and help protect all the surfaces of teeth; however, sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth, sealed surface. Sealants are placed on the grooves of permanent molar teeth once they are fully erupted above the gum tissue. The process of getting a sealant placed is short and painless. First, we will isolate the tooth to keep area dry. Next, we disinfect and clean off the tooth and apply a self-etch adhesive and place the thin, clear sealant. Finally, we use a curing light to harden the sealant and you are done!
It is important to start your children out young with their oral health. We recommend scheduling your child for their first dental appointment before their first birthday, as their baby teeth are developing at this time. Establishing a positive relationship between your child and their dentist at an early age can help make such procedures as, applying sealants when they get older a breeze. Sealants are important because they help to prevent decay that easily occurs in the “chewing surface” of molar teeth. Having sealants applied on newly erupted molars can help to ensure a life long sensational smiles.