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What to Expect When Getting a Dental Sealant

New developments in the practice of dentistry have made it possible to preserve natural teeth for longer periods of time. Tooth sealants are chemical compounds that are applied to the surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay. These compounds can prevent the damage to permanent teeth that often occurs in vulnerable individuals. Application of a tooth sealant is a simple process that is easy and painless. Your dentist will follow a few basic steps during the dental sealant procedure.

Who Can Benefit From Dental Sealants?

Your dentist may recommend a dental sealant if your child’s teeth have deep grooves and crevices that may make them prone to catching bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. The dentist may recommend a sealant even on baby teeth, because these teeth are important for the positioning of teeth that erupt later in childhood. Because the process is simple, a child of any age can receive a dental sealant safely. The sealant will help to preserve the tooth for a longer period of time, ensuring that adult teeth erupt in a normal position.

The Examination

Your dentist will provide a thorough examination of your teeth, with x-rays to determine if there are hidden cavities that may require immediate attention. If cavities are found, these will be given appropriate treatment to limit the damage to the structures of the teeth. The dentist will then determine which tooth surfaces can most benefit from tooth sealants.

Tooth Preparation

The dental sealant procedure does not require drilling into tooth surfaces. The tooth that is to be sealed must be carefully cleaned to provide a good surface for the sealant. Cotton may be placed around the tooth while it is being prepared for the procedure. A compound is applied to the tooth to roughen the surface, which will make it easier for teeth sealants to stick to the tooth. This compound is allowed to dry before the sealant is applied.

Applying and Drying the Sealant

The sealant is then painted onto the surface of the prepared tooth. The dentist will ensure that the sealant is applied only to the areas that are to be treated. The sealant will dry very quickly, in just a few seconds. Afterward, the patients can eat and drink normally.

Teeth sealants have been shown to significantly aid the prevention of dental caries on tooth surfaces to help preserve teeth for a longer period of time. Many parents are taking advantage of this improved care for their children’s long-term dental health.

http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/publications/faqs/sealants.htm