Beautiful Smiles for a Beautiful New Mexico
Boyd Newsome, DMD
Gregory Montgomery, DDS
Dental Sealants in Albuquerque, NM
Dental sealants are a great way to preserve the health of your teeth if you are a good candidate!
Dental sealants, also known as pit and fissure sealants, are thin plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, protecting them from decay-causing bacteria and plaque. If you’re looking for more information regarding the best candidates for dental sealants and why they can be useful, keep reading.
Dental sealants are typically applied to the pits and grooves of the back teeth, which are most prone to decay. Sealants fill in these grooves and pits, preventing bacteria from multiplying and causing decay.
What is The Benefit of Dental Sealants?
Proper brushing and flossing can clear food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of your teeth. However, they can’t penetrate all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to eliminate the food and plaque.
That’s where dental sealants come in handy. They safeguard those vulnerable areas by keeping plaque and food particles at bay.
Who’s The Best Candidate for Sealants?
Dental sealants usually are applied once a child’s permanent back teeth, the molars, come in fully. That way, the deep grooves and pits on the teeth’s chewing surfaces are filled in before any decay has a chance to develop.
When molars are protected from the outset, the risk of getting cavities and other dental problems in the future is reduced significantly.
Though sealants are typically applied during childhood, you may have the treatment done as an adult if they were never applied when you were younger. You may also need them if grooves develop in teeth where they never existed before.
Whether sealants are being applied to a child or an adult, the procedure is the same. What differs is the extent of damage before a sealant application is applied.
How Dental Sealants are Applied
Applying dental sealants is usually a painless procedure. No drilling or anesthesia is required. Here are the steps for applying sealants:
- The dental hygienist polishes the tooth surface using a pumice material to get rid of plaque and accumulated food particles from the grooves of the teeth on which the sealant is to be applied.
- The hygienist isolates and dries the tooth to ensure no saliva covers the grove and pit surfaces.
- The hygienist etches the tooth surface in the pit and groove areas, and then rinses off the etching material and dries the tooth.
- The hygienist applies the dental sealant material to the tooth surface using a brush. A self-curing light is then used for at least 30 seconds to bond the sealant to the surface of the tooth.
- The dental hygienist and dentist examine the dental sealant to ascertain if it has properly sealed the tooth surface.
When the sealant hardens completely, it will become a hard plastic coating, allowing you to chew on the tooth as usual.
It’s worth noting that sealants won’t alter your bite in any way. They are so thin that they only fill the grooves and pits. In the first couple of days after application, they may feel a bit bulky, but everything will normalize after a few days of normal chewing.
When Is The Best Time for Your Child To Get Sealants?
The most appropriate time to have sealants applied is when your child is about six years old. The first adult teeth grow in at around that age. However, your dentist may advise you to apply the sealant much earlier. Be sure to follow your dentist’s advice.
You want the sealants to be applied as early as possible to ensure no bacteria is trapped inside the pits and grooves of the teeth, and no decay whatsoever has set in yet.
Caring for Dental Sealants
Dental sealants require no special treatment after they’ve been successfully applied to the teeth. You should maintain proper oral hygiene, as usual, brushing at least twice a day and regularly flossing.
How Long Do Tooth Sealants Last?
Sealants typically last up to five years. In some cases, they can last longer. It’s essential that sealants are checked on a regular basis and reapplied whenever they wear off.
Sealant vs. Dental Fillings
Sealants will help keep your teeth healthy by safeguarding them from decay. Decay can destroy part or all of your tooth.
They are much better than dental fillings. Whenever a tooth is filled, more tooth is lost. Silver fillings usually last about six years before they require replacement.
Using sealants is not only cost-effective but also saves time. So, you shouldn’t wait to have fillings later while you can protect your teeth from decay with sealants now.
Where Can You Have Dental Sealants Applied?
You can visit any reputable general dentist, and they’ll advise you accordingly. If you don’t already have a family dentist, you can get in touch with Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry. We offer a number of services that can help you preserve your smile. Click here to learn more about our dental services.
Voted One of
Albuquerque's Best Dentists
5 Consecutive years
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic,
& Implant Dentistry
4421 Irving Blvd NW, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Office: (505) 821-6910
Fax: (505) 792-5771
Monday - Thursday: 7:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Fridays: 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM