Dental sealants are a thin layer of acrylic that is painted over the surface of a person’s back molars as a way of preventing cavities and tooth decay. This treatment is designed to smooth out the deep grooves and fissures that exist on an individual’s back teeth, thereby making them easier to maintain and clean. Additionally, sealants establish an effective barrier against harmful bacteria and acids that can cause serious damage when they directly access the surface of teeth.
Nearly 75 percent of all tooth decay occurs within the deep grooves and fissures found on a person’s back teeth. These areas can be very difficult to reach, even when proper brushing and flossing techniques are used. By smoothing out the rough surfaces with dental sealants, these areas become much easier to clean, and this helps to ensure that the teeth remain healthy.
Many patients who receive dental sealants are children and teenagers who are still developing proper brushing and flossing techniques. In particular, baby teeth are often great candidates for dental sealants because their surfaces tend to feature deep grooves and fissures. Many adults also receive dental sealants as a way of protecting their teeth and making them easier to maintain.
Applying Dental Sealants
In most cases, dental sealants can be applied in just one quick and easy procedure that only requires a couple of minutes per tooth. The first step is to thoroughly clean and dry any tooth that is designated for sealing. Once the teeth have been cleaned, we use an etching solution to roughen the surface of the teeth. This allows the teeth to easily bond with the sealant coating.
We then apply the acrylic sealant by carefully painting it onto the surface of the teeth and allowing the substance to dry. After the process has been completed, we make sure that the patient’s teeth have been fully sealed and that all of the deep grooves and fissures have been blocked off.
If you would like to learn more about how dental sealants can be used to protect your teeth, please call us at (479) 621-9700 to schedule an appointment