What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, clear plastic coatings used to prevent cavities. They provide a smooth surface to the rear molars which are naturally riddled with many pits and fissures. After applying the plastic coating to the tooth’s surface, they bond to the tooth and create a new, smooth surface that is easier to clean and traps out cavity-causing substances such as food particles, bacteria, and acids.
This helps prevent cavities because the rear molars can trap food particles and make them difficult to clean even after a lot of thorough scrubbing. A toothbrush can’t always reach into every pit and groove of a tooth, especially in difficult-to-reach places in the back of the mouth.
Benefits of Dental SEalants
Dental sealants are very effective in preventing cavities, preventing up to 80% of cavities. They act as a shield against harmful substances that cause tooth decay and make practicing good oral hygiene easier. Their application is painless, quick, and minimally invasive.
They are also aesthetic, as they are completely clear and cannot be noticed by others. They are durable, long-lasting, and are easy to repair or replace. They will save you a lot of time and money in the long run, by preventing tooth decay that could develop into an infection and requires costly, invasive, and time-consuming procedures to treat.
The Sealant Process
First, Dr. Williamson will examine your child’s teeth and take x-rays to ensure there aren’t any active oral health problems that need to be treated beforehand. Then, we will thoroughly clean the surfaces of your teeth.
After drying the teeth, we’ll place a drying material around the tooth and apply an acid solution to etch the tooth. This roughens the surface and helps the bonding process.
We’ll then rinse this solution off and dry the tooth again. The plastic coatings are then painted onto the teeth and are cured with UV light. This instantly hardens the coating to the tooth. This entire process only takes a few minutes. No anesthetic, drilling, or needles are involved!
How Long Do Sealants Last?
There is no special healing process or long recovery time after a root canal. You can get back to your daily routine right away, and even go back to work after your treatment. The area around the tooth may be a little bit tender and painful for a day or two, but this will go away quickly.
If you continue to experience a lot of pain for more than 2-3 days, give us a call for a follow-up. This may be a sign that the infection was not completely eliminated, and you may need to come back to our Festus or Columbia offices for root canal retreatment.
If you’re interested in dental sealants, contact us at Williamson Dental to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nathan Williamson.