PROTECTING SMILES WITH DENTAL SEALANTS
Dental sealants are most commonly associated with children. Because children’s diets typically include more sugar than adults and dental hygiene habits are still forming, they are more prone to bacteria that cause cavities. However, children are not the only candidates for sealants. Many patients suffer from xerostomia—more commonly referred to as dry mouth—which propels the risk of cavities for both children and adults. Some adults and teens have teeth that are more susceptible to decay due to orthodontic treatments, such as braces, that make teeth cleaning difficult. All of these patients are good candidates for sealants and can count on Mansfield Dental Associates to help them protect their teeth.
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied to a tooth in a liquid gel in order to seal off a fissure, or crevice, and block bacteria from wreaking havoc on your smile. Posterior teeth, where cleaning is more difficult and most of the chewing is done, are prime candidates for sealants in order to keep food particles from getting into crevices and creating bacteria. Preventive measures against cavities are essential to good overall health. This is why Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris recommend dental sealants for children and adults who are more susceptible to tooth decay.
At your appointment, the hygienist will assess you or your loved one’s risk for caries, also known as the decay that causes cavities. Committed to patient care, our hygienists will listen to your concerns and ask questions about the dental hygiene issues you or your loved one experience. Assessing vulnerability to caries may include a digital x-ray of the tooth. Using our modern technology, the hygienist may show you the digital x-ray image or intraoral photo on a large monitor to illustrate your need. To apply a sealant, the tooth must be prepared with cleaning and drying the tooth so that it can be lightly etched. Essential to the longevity of your sealant, the tooth must stay as dry as possible during application. Using a curing light, your hygienists will harden the sealant. The protection of a sealant can last up to 5 to 10 years, but it is also necessary for our hygienists to reevaluate the sealant.