At Canyon Gate Dental in Orem, Lindon, and Vineyard, we firmly believe in preventative dental treatments. Our goal is to help you attain and maintain a beautiful, cavity-free smile. One of the best ways to achieve this is to apply dental sealants, which can offer preventative benefits for a lifetime.
What are sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are placed in the pits and grooves of molars and occasionally premolars. Sealants help protect teeth against decay. The surfaces of permanent back teeth have deep pits and grooves that are extremely susceptible to decay because they are hard to clean properly. While daily brushing removes most plaque and fluoride rinses can help strengthen teeth and prevent bacteria overgrowth, sealants keep plaque from accumulating in the first place. Sealants are safe to use and have been considered an effective preventative treatment option since the 1970s.
When should sealants be placed?
Once the chewing surfaces of adult teeth are visible, sealants can be placed. Therefore, the first sealants should be placed as soon as the first adult molars erupt around the age of six. Adult second molars and premolars emerge between the ages of 11-13 and you should visit the dentist as the teeth come in to have them all properly sealed.
Can adults get sealants?
Sealants are generally covered under insurance plans for minors only; however, adults can have sealants placed too. Any tooth that has deep pits or grooves and is free of decay and other restorations can be sealed. You should speak with your dentist to determine which of your teeth would benefit from sealants.
How are dental sealants placed?
Dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants are trained to place sealants. Placing sealants is a fast, simple procedure that is painless and doesn’t require anesthesia. The tooth is carefully dried and isolated from the rest of your mouth using cotton and gauze. Then the tooth is slightly roughened with a chemical so that the sealant will stay in place. The sealant is a white liquid that is placed on the tooth and hardened by shining a blue light on it. Finally, the sealant will be smoothed down and polished.
Do I still need to brush, floss, and visit the dentist?
Yes! While sealants can help prevent cavities, it is still imperative that you maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine. Sealants only protect the pits and grooves of your teeth. You will still need to brush and floss to remove the plaque and tartar from the other surfaces of your teeth.