At Glen Ellyn Dentistry, we do our best to recommend effective treatments to maintain our patients’ oral health and prevent problems from developing. Of all the preventive dental treatments available, dental sealants are one of the simplest to get, and they offer one of the biggest payoffs in terms of preventive care.
What Is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin layer of tooth-colored composite resin applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
Dental sealants work by creating a protective layer over the tooth enamel located on the chewing surfaces of molars. This helps prevent tooth decay from occurring beneath the dental sealants.
Dental sealants also smooth out the natural deep grooves and crevices on the surfaces of these teeth. This makes them much easier to clean and much less likely to harbor plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Sealants?
There really aren’t any downsides to dental sealants. They are inexpensive, quick and easy to apply, and non-invasive. Plus, they deliver incredible tooth decay and cavity-prevention powers.
Who Should Have Dental Sealants?
Many adults associate dental sealants with pediatric dentistry because most of us got our first dental sealants as children when our permanent molars began erupting. However, we recommend dental sealants for patients of all ages who still have their natural, permanent molars.
What Is the Process of Getting a Dental Sealant?
Dental sealants are most commonly applied after routine dental cleaning and examination when the teeth are already squeaky-clean.
Before applying a sealant, we ensure that the targeted treatment areas are clean (of course) and dry. We then use a small brush to “paint” thin layers of tooth-colored composite resin over the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Once applied, we use a special ultraviolet light to cure the resin into a hard, durable sealant. After the sealant has been cured, we ask our patient to bite down. We make slight adjustments to the surface of the sealant until the patient’s bite feels natural and comfortable.
We typically repeat this process on each of our patient’s permanent molars to ensure thorough protection on these spots that are otherwise highly susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
The lifespan of a dental sealant can vary depending on the level of wear and tear they endure daily. On average, however, they tend to last between two and four years before they need to be replaced or touched up with a fresh application of resin.
You can prolong the life of your dental sealants by avoiding chewing on hard objects or ice. Additionally, we recommend protecting your dental sealants (and your teeth) from excessive wear by using a nightguard if you have been diagnosed with sleep bruxism.
Comprehensive Preventive Dental Care With Our Glen Ellyn Dentists
At Glen Ellyn Dentistry, we love to help our patients keep their teeth healthy with preventive treatments and services such as dental sealants, professional fluoride treatments, oral cancer screenings, and oral hygiene exams.
To learn more about dental sealants or to request an appointment with one of our dentists, we welcome you to contact Glen Ellyn Dentistry at 630-942-0727 today.
Get Started Today!
We look forward to welcoming new patients into our office and seeing our existing patients again. To request an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office at 630-942-0727 or complete the appointment request form on our website.