At Forestream Dental in the Buffalo area, New York, dental sealants are most often used by our dentist on pediatric patients, but are sometimes appropriate for our adult patients as well.
Dental sealants, also called tooth sealants, are composite resin fillings used to prevent cavities.
Why Use Sealants?
One of the goals of good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, is to eliminate plaque from our teeth. If plaque is left on teeth too long, decay in the form of cavities can form. Sometimes, though, brushing and flossing aren't enough.
Sealants are typically used on back teeth that are harder to reach and harder to clean. For some, the grooves in the molar are too narrow for the bristles of a toothbrush to get in and clean, but wide enough for bacteria to invade and cause problems. We recommend sealing all of the molars in a case like this.
The procedure of placing sealants is fairly straightforward and simple.
- The tooth must be clean to avoid trapping any decay under the sealant. An easy way to clean the teeth is to use an air abrasion system that utilizes tiny crystals to "sand blast" any plaque or decay that is present, and this is what we do
- An etching substance is placed on the tooth to prepare it for bonding. The etching solution allows the sealant to stick to the tooth. After a few minutes the solution is removed and the tooth dried.
- The dental sealant is then brushed into the grooves of the tooth and cured, or hardened, with a special light.
- Dr. Evola will have you bite down on the tooth to make sure your bite still feels natural, and if necessary, he will make adjustments. Sometimes the sealant needs to be sanded down a bit to fit in with your other teeth.
Now you're all set to go and can eat and drink immediately after the procedure. Sealants are expected to last three to five years, but can last shorter or longer periods depending on each individual. After you receive sealants, they will be checked at every visit to make sure they're still intact.
At your child's next appointment, be sure to talk with Dr. Evola about whether or not your child needs sealants on his or her molars. If you have deep grooves on your molars, sealants are a good way to protect yourself from cavities in those back teeth. Contact Forestream Dental today to schedule your next dentistry check-up. We're conveniently located in the Buffalo, New York area and proudly serve the communities of Amherst, Lancaster, and Williamsville, New York.