At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, one of our points of pride as a family dentist is our various preventive dentistry services. We’re here to address major oral issues with the utmost care and expertise, of course, but many of our primary services involve taking the right early steps to ensure these major issues never crop up to begin with.
One form of preventive dentistry that may be right for your child is known as a dental sealant. What is a dental sealant, what are they used for and when might they be a good choice for someone in your family? Here’s a look.
Dental Sealant Basics
Dental sealants are basic dental tools that allow us to seal off the various gaps and pits found between the teeth, most commonly the molars at the back of the mouth. They can fully block some of these gaps from being open, which in turn stops food particles and other promoters of bacteria from entering these areas – which are tougher for toothbrushes and even floss to reach in many cases. Because cavities and other issues of tooth decay are primarily caused by this bacteria lingering in the mouth, dental sealants are a major tool available for preventing these kinds of issues.
In nearly all cases, dental sealants will be made using a liquid resin. This resin is cured by either light or chemical exposure, designed to stick to the applied area.
Who They’re For
In the vast majority of cases, dental sealants are used for children who are beginning to see molars growing in the backs of their mouths. This tends to take place between ages six and 12 in most children, and they may struggle with significant food particles and other issues in between these newly erupting teeth.
It is possible for adults to get dental sealants as well, but this is far less common. This will only be done for people who are at an exceedingly high cavity risk.
Length of Use
Depending on the needs of the child receiving them, dental sealants can last up to 10 years in some cases. They can be replaced if needed, though they tend to hold up well to stress. In most cases, this 10-year barrier is not approached and kids only need to keep sealants in their mouths for a few years.
Sealant Application Process
If your child is worried about receiving dental sealants, you can calm their nerves easily. Applying them is simple and easy, with no pain whatsoever and no drilling or sharp tools. The dentist will simply clean the tooth and then apply a bonding agent, then apply the sealant and allow it to cure either through light or a chemical rinse. Once the sealant is cured properly, the dentist will simply remove and lasting residue and the child will be all set, with no downtime or pain.
For more on dental sealants, or to learn about any of our dental services, speak to the staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.