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What are Dental Sealants and How Do They Protect the Teeth?

What are Dental Sealants and How Do They Protect the Teeth?

Even if you brush and floss properly, you cannot always reach and effectively clean the pits and fissures of the molars in the back of your mouth. In those instances, dental sealants can be applied to teeth to close those pits and fissures, and save them from the plaque and bacteria that can accumulate there and cause tooth decay.

Types of Dental Sealants

There usually are two types of dental sealants commonly used by dentists:

Resin based sealants

Resin based dental sealants are more common and cheaper. They are classified into four different generations. The first generation was set with UV curing, second with chemical curing, and third with visible light curing. The latest generation of resin based sealants comes with pre-contained fluoride which strengthens the teeth even more.

Glass ionomer sealants (GIC)

These are less common and more expensive due to extra qualities. They are less sensitive to moisture and chemically bond with both the enamel and dentin layer of the teeth. However, their most important quality is that they contain fluoride. Fluoride strengthens the tooth and makes it less susceptible to cavities.

Procedure of Application and Protection

Dental sealants are applied on the chewing surface of the back teeth.

First the surface of molar is cleaned and the tooth is dried, then a dental dam placed around the tooth to stop saliva from touching the tooth and to keep the tooth dry for application. There is no need for an anesthetic since the process is painless. The sealant may be dried using a curing light.

Regardless of how carefully you select and use your toothbrush, it can’t always reach the pits or fissures in your teeth. Rinsing may also not be effective. That’s when dental sealants may be a good idea. A dental sealant can last for up to a decade with good oral care.

If you would like more information about whether or not dental sealants might be an option in your case, call Stellar Dental at (301) 754 1900 or (301) 853 1567. You can also visit us at 11120 New Hampshire Ave, Suite 301 Silver Spring, MD 20904 or 5813 Eastern Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20782.