What Are Dental Sealants - An Overview of Dental Sealants - Vita Dental Spring
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What Are Dental Sealants – An Overview of Dental Sealants

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What Are Dental Sealants – An Overview of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants comprise a plastic material that is positioned on the chewing surface of the molars and premolars. They help to protect teeth from bacteria and acids that can corrode the enamel and lead to tooth decay.

We at Vita Dental Spring are aware that flossing helps to remove food particles since toothbrushes cannot reach into the depressions and grooves. In as much as fluoride helps to prevent decay while protecting all the teeth surfaces, dental sealants add an extra protection for the grooved and hard to reach areas.

When To opt For Dental Sealants

When children start growing their permanent teeth, from when they’re about five years old, it’s generally the appropriate time to start thinking about dental sealants. This is beneficial because it curbs of tooth decay before it gets to start and spread

Depending on the last time you went for a normal checkup, you may want to discuss with a dentist to find out if it’s about time for another reapplication.

The Cost

The cost can range from about $40 per tooth and could be a bit higher in the metropolitan areas. Most insurances cover sealant treatments. However, if you are uninsured, you can check if your child’s school offers sealants and preventive programs.

Types of Sealants

There are two types of sealants: resin-based and glass ionomer. Resin-based sealants contain Bisphenol A that is commonly referred to as BPA, which is a compound used in many plastics. They have a higher moisture retention to pits and fissures as compared to glass ionomers.

Glass ionomer sealants contain glass powder and polyacrylic acid that can stick on a wet surface. They also contain fluoride and are less moisture sensitive. This means that should the glass ionomer fail to seal completely, the tooth enamel will still be protected by the fluoride ions that are released.

The Process

To begin with, the tooth to be sealed is cleaned using pumice paste, rinsed then dried. An etching solution will then be used by the dentist to roughen slightly the tooth’s surface. This will make it easier for the bonding material to stick to the enamel. The bonding material in sealants is the acrylic resin. Later he/she will rinse and dry your tooth and apply the sealant which will be in liquid form to the biting surface. Lastly, the tooth is bonded with the sealant using a special light that will harden it.

At Spring, this procedure is done professionally so that the sealants can last for a long time, regardless of the normal wear and tear.

If the Dental Sealants Feel Awkward

As always teeth always fit together snugly but due to alignment issues, anything foreign between the teeth may be very uncomfortable at first. It is expected and will usually take a few days to normalize. If your dental sealant feels a little off when you bite down, give it a week and it should go away on its own. However, if your sealants seem painful in any way, alert your dentist immediately so that adjustments can be made.

Effectiveness

Sealants are considered an effective preventive method for cavities and as long as the sealant remains firmly adhered to the tooth. The sealant is highly dependent on its ability to remain on the tooth surface.

Sealant Failure

The most common reason why a sealant can fail is due to salivary contamination during the sealing placement. Other factors may include inexperience by the clinician, an uncooperative client, and less effective quality of sealant material used.

The Cons

Sealants contain bisphenol-A or BPA which is a primary ingredient that poses a major problem.  According to research, bisphenol-A brings about different unhealthy side effects such as stroke, premature births for expectant mothers and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the more you utilize sealants, you become more susceptible to its dangerous side effects.

Caring for Sealants

There are various factors that can help contribute towards the retention of fissure sealants. After a dental sealant is applied and set on a tooth, there will be no additional or special treatment. Just continue with your normal oral hygiene routine. For extra protection and a brilliant smile, use a fluoride or a non-alcoholic mouthwash to swish after brushing your teeth.

Sealants wear out naturally and become damaged in due time. Despite the pressures endured by teeth through chewing each day, they still have the ability to remain effective for at least five years or more.

Their longevity is also dependent on the type of bonding material used for the fissure sealant. Fissure sealants are rarely retained into adulthood since it is believed that food particles and bacteria may have been trapped eventually under the dental sealants thereby causing tooth decay in the same teeth that were to be protected.

Book an appointment at Vita Dental Spring for your routine visits to ensure that the sealants are still retained in the fissures of the teeth. Salivary contamination is one of the major causes of loss of sealants during the first few months.

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