Sealants are a crucial part of dental treatment. They are a preventive measure that aims to protect the teeth from decay and cavities. The placement of sealants is generally a non-invasive and painless procedure that can be done in a dental office in a matter of minutes. However, not everyone is aware of where sealants are placed and what they do. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to sealants and their placement.
What are Sealants?
Sealants are thin coatings made of plastic that are designed to cover the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars in the back of the mouth. These teeth have natural grooves and pits that can trap bacteria and food particles, leading to decay and cavities over time. Sealants act as a barrier to prevent these particles from reaching the teeth and causing damage.
Who Needs Sealants?
Sealants are typically recommended for children in their early teenage years when the permanent teeth have come in fully. However, adults can also benefit from sealants if their teeth have naturally deep grooves or if they are prone to cavities. Your dentist can assess your teeth to determine whether sealants are necessary for you.
The Placement of Sealants
The placement of sealants is a straightforward procedure that can be completed in just one visit to the dental office. The dentist will first clean and dry the tooth to be sealed. Then, an acidic solution will be applied to the tooth to create a rough surface for the sealant to adhere to.
Once the tooth is prepped, the sealant material will be painted onto the chewing surface of the tooth. A special light will be used to help the sealant harden and bond to the tooth. The entire process typically takes less than 30 minutes.
Where Are Sealants Placed?
Sealants are placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, specifically the molars and premolars. These teeth have natural pits and grooves that can retain bacteria and food particles, leading to decay and cavities. By sealing these surfaces, the risk of decay is significantly reduced, and the teeth can stay healthy and strong for years to come.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can last up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance. However, they may wear down over time due to biting and chewing. Regular dental check-ups can help your dentist to monitor the condition of your sealants and replace them if necessary.
Sealants are an essential preventive measure that can help keep your teeth healthy and free of decay. They are placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, specifically the molars and premolars. The placement of sealants is a painless and non-invasive procedure that can be done in just one visit to the dental office. If you think you could benefit from sealants, speak to your dentist to learn more about this simple and effective treatment..