What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin coating of plastic material that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). The sealant bonds into the grooves of the teeth, thus helping protect the teeth and prevent cavities. Dental sealants are like shields for your teeth. When a dental sealant has been placed, it blocks food, plaque, and cavity-causing acids out of the crevices of the back teeth.
Who Can Get Dental Sealants?
Children and adults can both benefit from dental sealants. The earlier dental sealants are placed, the better. The first molars grow in around age 6 and the second molars come in around age 12. Have your child’s molars sealed in as soon as they grow in to help keep them cavity free. This can save money in the long run.
Can Dental Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?
Dental sealants can be used over areas with early decay, thus preventing further damage to the tooth. Dental sealants are clear, so Dr. Karey can keep an eye on the tooth to ensure that the sealant is effective.
How Are They Applied?
Drs. Karey will first thoroughly clean your teeth. The teeth are then dried and cotton is placed around them to keep them dry. Our dentists will place an acid solution on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them. This helps the sealant bond to the teeth. At this point, the teeth are rinsed and dried again. Finally, the sealant is painted onto each tooth, where it bonds and hardens to the tooth. A special curing light may be used to help the sealant harden.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can protect the teeth from decay for up to 10 years. However, they need to be checked for wear and chipping at your regular dental appointments. Dental sealants can be replaced if necessary.
We welcome you to contact our office today to learn more about dental sealants in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and to schedule your next visit.