Application of Dental Sealants and How They Work

Application of Dental Sealants and How They Work

June 1, 2023

The modern-day world has been inundated with sugary foods and drinks that pose as energizing or healthy foods and drinks. As a result, most parents have normalized packing their kids' lunch boxes with sugary liquids like juice boxes and fermentable carbohydrates like crackers and chips, mostly because they are non-perishable and easily available. Chewable snacks and chewable vitamins that tend to get stuck in occlusal surfaces are also common dietary intakes of modern children. This has made modern children prone to dental cavities.

A dental cavity is a hole that develops in your teeth and usually occurs after enamel erosion has occurred. When a cavity goes untreated for some time, it gets bigger and can cause you pain and put you at risk of developing infections since they harbor bacteria. Preventing dental cavities should therefore be a priority, and fortunately, dental sealants are here to serve that purpose.

What Are Dental Sealants?

A tooth sealant is a thin plastic coat that dentists place on the chewing surfaces of clean premolars and molars that hardens upon being subjected to a curing light. Once applied on the teeth' surface, liquid sealant flows and fills the dental groves and fissures, protecting them from corrosive acid attacks by sealing food particles and bacteria out. Statistics from the American Dental Association showed that dental sealants lower the risk of cavities on molar teeth by roughly 80 percent.

Generally, dental sealant is a preventive measure that adds to long-term dental care. By protecting your teeth, sealants will help you avoid costly procedures in the near future. Dental health experts recommend sealants for both kids and adults whose premolars, molars, and baby teeth are healthy and decay-free. According to the ADA, children from the age of 6 can get dental sealants.

How Tooth Sealants Work

Brushing your teeth and flossing are among the best ways to keep your teeth strong and healthy. However, this does not offer complete protection from dental cavities since some areas in your teeth are difficult to reach. This is common, especially in teeth located at the back. Bacteria act on left-over food particles in the oral cavity, which initiate chain reactions that create acids strong enough to weaken the dental enamel covering, putting you at risk for tooth decay.

Dental sealants work by creating a protective coat over teeth that prevents food particles from getting stuck in the nooks, crannies, and uneven surfaces of teeth. The sealant also locks out harmful bacteria and acid from coming into contact with your teeth surface.

Although you get various benefits from dental sealants, you should note that they are not a substitute for routine oral care. You will need to continue with normal teeth brushing and flossing and keep up with the scheduled dental appointments.

Dental Sealant Application Procedure

The sealant application process is non-invasive and will involve five key steps. They are:
  • Cleaning and drying teeth –

    This is the first step, where the dentist will thoroughly clean and dry every tooth receiving the sealant.
  • Application of acidic solution –

    The acidic solution helps to create a bond between the chewing surface of teeth and the sealant material. Its application will not bring any discomfort or affect your enamel in a harmful way.
  • Rinsing and drying –

    Your tooth is again rinsed off and dried to ensure it is clean and ready for the sealant to be applied.
  • Painting the liquid sealant over the tooth enamel –

    A thin layer of liquid sealant is applied to add the protection layer without compromising the teeth' appearance.
  • Curing the sealant –

    This is the last part and will involve hardening the sealant with a special curing light to strengthen the sealant and reduce the risks of early complications.

Dental Sealants for Adults

Adults with healthy teeth and oral tissues are viable for dental sealants. A compromised occlusal surface can disqualify you from this preventive procedure since there is a risk of sealing an active cavity. If you choose to get sealants, you have to be ready to go for a checkup visit at your dentist’s office after every six months. You can get dental sealants in Old Saybrook, CT, at Saybrook Family Dental Care. Book an appointment with our dental team for quality oral care.