What You Need to Know About Dental Sealants as a Preventive Measure

What You Need to Know About Dental Sealants as a Preventive Measure

Jun 01, 2021
Spontaneous toothache, lingering sensitivity, pain, and discomfort, are signs of decay and cavities and you need to visit a dentist immediately. This is because, without treatment, decay can advance and affect the pulp cavity. In severe cases, it can lead to extraction, which is another dental problem. Decay is a common complaint among adults and children, though it affects the kids more. The good news is that decay and cavities can be prevented, and one of the most commonly used preventive measures is dental sealants. Sealants are a coating that is applied on the pits and fissures to shield the teeth from bacterial attacks and decay. These fissure sealants are available in plastic foam, but you can also find them in glass ionomer. Some people have been skeptical about the effectiveness of dental sealants, but before you disregard them, here are five facts you need to know about dental sealants in Markham, ON.

1. Sealants are Recommended for Both Children and Adults

Dental sealants are mostly used by children because they are more prone to decay and cavities. However, these preventive treatments can also benefit adults who have healthy teeth devoid of decay and cavities. Also, you should not have dental fillings because they compromise the integrity of the sealants. Talk to your dentist about the possibility of getting dental sealants for kids and adults.

2. They Prevent Cavities

Dental sealants are coating mostly applied on the back teeth because they tend to trap food and increase the risk of cavities. Applying these coatings has been shown to reduce the risk of decay and cavities by about 80 percent, this is according to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC further states that children who don’t have sealants are twice more likely to develop cavities. The effectiveness of the sealants, however, is dependent on the time they are applied. Although the dentist can apply the coating at any time, it is recommended that the sealants be applied when the molars first come, which usually occurs at age seven or eight.

3. The Application Process is Fast and Pain-free

The application of dental sealants usually lasts about 30 minutes and rarely requires the use of local anesthesia because it is non-invasive. But, if your child has dental phobia, our Markham dentist may use inhaled gas to relax and keep them calm. The process of applying the dental sealants is done in a few steps:
  • Dental cleaning. The dentist will begin the process by doing professional deep cleaning to get rid of any plaque buildup. Next, the dentist will dry the teeth with an absorbent material and use a sheet to keep the teeth dry. It is important to have the teeth completely dry to ensure the sealants bond properly.
  • An acid solution is applied to the teeth to roughen the surface and make the application process swift and effective.
  • The teeth are then rinsed and dried again before the process begins.
  • The plastic coating is applied to the crown and hardened with laser light.

4. The Dental Sealants Are Safe

Some parents have expressed concerns about the safety of the sealants as they are made of plastic, which is believed to contain BPA. Bisphenol A has been reported to affect the thyroid, immune and nervous system. However, the CDC and the ADA (American Dental Association) report that the BPA levels in the sealants are minimal to cause any problem. Moreover, you can still come in contact with BPA as it is found in the air and other plastic products.

5. The Dentals Are Most Effective When Used with Other Treatments

Dental sealants are effective in preventing cavities, but their effectiveness reduces year after year. This is because the sealants can wear out and increase the risk of cavities. Tooth sensitivity is one complaint that results from cracked or chipped teeth. If you have lingering discomfort on the teeth, ask the dentist for the sealants for sensitive teeth. It is recommended that you use dental sealants with other preventive treatments like professional dental cleaning and assessment. Fluoride treatment is also recommended for people who are at risk of developing cavities. For children with primary teeth, the dentist may recommend pediatric dental crowns to protect the teeth.

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Visit 14th Avenue Dentistry for more information on dental sealants and how they work.
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