Sealants | Delmarva Dental Services


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You have probably been to the dentist or have taken your child to the dentist and gotten a good check up. Then the dentist recommends sealants for your teeth. If you have gotten a good check up and there is nothing wrong, why do you need sealants? What are they?Our molars have pits and grooves. We need these to chew our food. Sometimes these pits and grooves can be deep. It is easy for food to get stuck in them and hard to keep them cleaned out. Food and bacteria will build up and put your healthy tooth at risk of getting tooth decay. Sealants will help prevent this from occurring.
How? Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that helps to “seal out” tooth decay and protect the tooth. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces by keeping bacteria and food out of the grooves. Getting sealants is very easy. There is no numbing or drilling involved. The tooth is first cleaned, followed by conditioning and drying. The sealant material is then applied to the tooth and the material is worked into the pits and grooves of the tooth. After the sealant material is applied, a special light is used to harden the sealant material. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield on your tooth. You can eat right away! You can’t see them unless you are looking really hard for them. Sealants are clear, white or slightly tinted to match the tooth. They cannot be seen when talking or smiling. Because sealants are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves, your teeth should not feel any different. Sealants are applied mostly to molars and premolars. Your dentist will decide at the exam which of your teeth need the sealants. To prolong the life of your sealant you should always avoid chewing ice (see Ice) and hard candy. Sealants are very affordable, especially when compared to the cost of a filling. You may wonder, why is sealing a tooth better than waiting to see if decay happens and filling the cavity? Decay permanently damages teeth. Sealants protect them. Fillings are not a permanent solution, they can wear down after time too, requiring replacement. Each time a tooth is filled, more drilling is done and the tooth becomes a little weaker. Bottom line is, sealants can save time, money and the need for more aggressive dental work. But sealants are only one part of preventive dentistry. They do not replace fluoride treatments. Brushing, flossing, good nutrition, limited snacking and regular dental visits are still the best way to maintain a bright, healthy, beautiful smile. Delmarva Dental Services has been placing sealants since 1981.