From the moment teeth start growing in they are exposed to many things that can do damage to them overtime. The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves in them, known as fissures. These small spaces make teeth more susceptible to decay as plaque can easily accumulate in these areas. While fluoride toothpaste is recommended to help prevent the decay, dental sealants actually takes protection to a new level. In fact, our assistants make use of these dental sealants to provide a smooth covering over the fissures.
Dental sealants are made out of a thin plastic coating which mold perfectly to the teeth. One may not even notice the sealant is on the tooth, but it makes the surface smooth and clean. The great thing about the dental sealants is that they can last for many years. Of course, there is always the possibility for wear and chipping so with regular dental visits Dr. Mays can keep a watchful eye on them.
You may think dental sealants are only necessary as an adult, but the truth is that all ages groups can benefit from having this protective barrier applied to their teeth. For example:
Occasionally sealants can be applied to baby teeth if deep grooves or depressions are present and a child is cavity prone.
As soon as six-year molars appear (first permanent back teeth) sealants can help protect teeth any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16 years of age.
The process to apply the protective sealant only take a few minutes per tooth as it gets painted on in a thin layer and then hardens automatically or with a special curing light.
If you’d like to know more about this process during your next visit, don’t hesitate to let us know!