Oftentimes, between your children's back teeth. Tooth surfaces aren’t smooth and contain pits and fissures that trap food and bacteria. A toothbrush cannot reach these spots easily. Because of this, it creates a great condition for a cavity to form. At Waterside Dental Care, we can help prevent tooth decay with the addition of dental sealants to your child’s teeth. During an appointment with our dental professionals in Richmond, TX, we will examine your child’s teeth and gums in order to determine whether they are a viable candidate for this preventive dentistry treatment option.
WHAT IS A DENTAL SEALANT?
Composed of plastic resin, the lightweight but durable coverings referred to as dental sealants serve to even out the occlusive areas of the molars. A sealed tooth is much less likely to develop a cavity or require more extensive dental treatments in the future. A molar sealant at Waterside Dental Care is placed on the top surface of the back molars. They seal out bacteria, plaque, and tartar from reaching the tooth. Those who get dental sealants don’t see or feel them. With the proper placement of dental sealants, our dentists can help ensure that the tooth enamel is much cleaner and, of course, protected.
HOW DENTAL SEALANTS HELP ORAL HEALTH
Generally, a child’s newly erupted adult teeth won't be as resistant to decay as fully matured adult teeth. The hard enamel that protects the teeth changes as we age and becomes much stronger. The use of fluoride helps to strengthen enamel, too. However, it can be challenging to get into those pits and fissures regularly. Fissure sealants can provide a protective coating that prevents tooth decay from occurring. Practically any child or teenager is a candidate for dental sealants. However, some adults may benefit from them, too. As soon as the teeth come in, children can get tooth sealants on their permanent molars and premolars. These sealants can help protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years. For children with deep grooves or depressions on their baby teeth, sealants may also be used. Because these teeth play a major role in the correct spacing of the permanent teeth, keeping them healthy will ensure they aren’t lost too early.
THE DENTAL SEALANT PROCESS
Acquiring your child's dental sealant treatment at Waterside Dental Care is a brief, risk-free, and uncomplicated process that doesn’t need anesthesia. Before sealants are applied, the teeth will be cleaned and polished. This ensures that no bacteria are being sealed into the tooth. If any decay is found, it is removed. Next, the tooth surface is gently roughened where the sealant will be placed and then rinsed and dried thoroughly. Once the tooth is prepped, our dentist will apply the sealant and use a special light to set it, similar to dental bonding.
MAINTAINING YOUR DENTAL SEALANTS
Regular oral hygiene is critical for your child's teeth that have been covered with dental sealants. Children should brush and floss their teeth daily and have regular dental examinations and routine professional dental cleanings. Your child will benefit from this preventive treatment that has been proven to reduce tooth decay by up to 70%. While sealants are best for children and teenagers, some adults may continue to keep sealants on their teeth if they are prone to tooth decay. Dental sealants can protect teeth from potential tooth decay for up to 10 years. However, they need to be checked for chips or wear and tear at regular dental checkups. We can replace sealants when necessary. There are no known risks or side effects of dental sealants. The American Dental Association deems it a safe treatment option for children, teenagers, and adults.
WILL INSURANCE COVER DENTAL SEALANTS?
Because the treatment is preventive, nearly all insurance agencies will provide coverage for the expense of sealants for young children and adolescents. Our professional team can help you to learn more about your coverage before you commit to any treatment at our Richmond, TX office.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DENTAL SEALANTS
Waterside Dental Care is staffed with a substantially skilled team of certified dental professionals that provides optimal dental care for every member of the family. Our goal is to prevent dental problems from developing in the first place. Tooth sealants are just one proactive treatment we can provide our patients to keep cavities at bay. To schedule an appointment and learn more about dental sealants, call our Richmond, TX office today.
HOW ARE DENTAL SEALANTS PLACED?
Preparing the teeth. The surface of each tooth that is receiving a dental sealant is polished to remove plaque and any food debris from the surface. Next, the tooth is dried and isolated. The surface of the tooth is etched, followed by a rinse, and thorough drying. This etching allows the dental sealant to attach to the teeth.
Application of the dental sealant. The liquid dental sealant material is applied to the surface of the tooth, typically with a brush. A self-curing light is used for approximately 30 seconds to bond the sealant to the tooth surface.
Final evaluation of the dental sealant. The dentist will evaluate the dental sealant and check its occlusion. Once hardened, the dental sealant turns into a clear, hard plastic coating and patients can resume chewing and normal use.