Restoring Your Smile and Oral Health
If you’re looking to protect your teeth from cavities and maintain optimal oral health, dental sealants can be an excellent solution. Dr. Del Kovacevic, a trusted family dentist in Greensburg, PA, has years of experience providing top-notch dental care. Learn more about this popular dentistry treatment for patients of all ages.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, particularly the molars and premolars. These areas are prone to cavities due to their rough texture and deep grooves, which can trap food particles and bacteria. Sealants act as a barrier, shielding the tooth enamel from decay-causing factors like bacteria and acids.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants offer several advantages for patients of all ages. including:
- Cavity Prevention: Dental sealants create a physical barrier that prevents bacteria and food particles from settling in the deep grooves of the teeth, significantly reducing the risk of cavities.
- Long-lasting Protection: With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dental sealants can last for many years, effectively safeguarding your teeth.
- Cost-Effective: Compared to restorative dental treatments like fillings and crowns, dental sealants are a cost-effective preventive measure.
- Non-Invasive: Getting dental sealants is a quick, painless procedure that doesn’t require drilling or anesthesia.
- Suitable for Children and Adults: While children can benefit greatly from dental sealants, adults with deep grooves or a high risk of cavities can also enjoy the protective effects of tooth sealants.
What Can Dental Sealants Fix?
Although dental sealants are primarily used for preventive purposes, they can indirectly help address certain issues:
- Preventing Cavities: Dental sealants are highly effective in preventing cavities by shielding the tooth enamel from the harmful effects of bacteria and acids. By sealing off the vulnerable areas of the teeth, sealants significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay.
- Halting Early Decay: In some cases, dental sealants can be applied to teeth that show early signs of decay. By covering the affected areas with sealants, you can halt the progression of decay and prevent further damage.
- Protecting Vulnerable Teeth: Teeth with deep grooves, pits, or fissures are more susceptible to cavities. Dental sealants provide a layer of protection to these vulnerable areas, reducing the likelihood of decay.
- Minimizing Sensitivity: Dental sealants can help reduce tooth sensitivity by sealing off exposed dentin or sensitive areas on chewing surfaces. The sealant acts as a barrier, preventing external stimuli from directly reaching the sensitive parts of the teeth.
The Dental Sealant Process
To ensure optimal bonding between the sealant and the tooth surface, the first step involves thorough teeth cleaning. Dr. Kovacevic and the dental hygienist will carefully remove any plaque, tartar, and debris from the teeth using specialized instruments.
Once the teeth are clean, the next step is preparation. Our Greensburg dentist will ensure the teeth are dry and isolate them from saliva to create an ideal environment for the sealant. This is done using cotton rolls or a dental dam, a thin rubber sheet that covers the teeth being treated.
To enhance the sealant adhesion, the dentist will apply an etching solution to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This solution is usually a mild acid that creates microscopic pores to allow the sealant to bond more effectively.
After the teeth are prepared, Dr. Kovacevic will apply the dental sealant onto the chewing surfaces. The sealant material is typically a resin carefully painted onto the pits and grooves of the teeth. It flows into the tiny crevices, creating a protective layer.
To harden the dental sealant and ensure a durable bond, Dr. Kovacevic will use a special light. This light emits a blue wavelength that activates the chemicals in the tooth sealant, causing it to harden within seconds. This curing process makes the dental sealant resilient and long-lasting.
Once the dental sealants have been applied and cured, Dr. Kovacevic will evaluate their placement and make any necessary adjustments. This evaluation includes checking your bite to ensure the tooth sealants don’t interfere with your natural bite. Your dentist will carefully remove any excess material and smoothen it to ensure a comfortable fit.