Tooth decay is a harmful issue that, if left untreated, could lead to severe oral health problems that put your smile and your overall health at risk. To help keep your smile in good health, our team offers dental sealants in Hillsborough, North Carolina. We encourage you to call our team here at Providence Smiles to learn more and schedule a visit with our dentist, Dr. Kwame Gyampo. Contact us today at 919-732-8179!
The chewing surfaces of your back teeth have natural grooves and pits that make them excellent for breaking up food, but these can also become hiding places for harmful bacteria and plaque buildup. To prevent this buildup from causing tooth decay, our dentist may recommend a dental sealant. This preventive treatment is designed to block out the food debris and bacteria responsible for tooth decay using a clear or tooth-colored resin that is painted over the at-risk chewing surfaces of your teeth. This will also smooth the surface slightly, making it easier to brush and care for.
Children are not as good as adults at taking care of their teeth, so, we often recommend dental sealants for our pediatric patients. These sealants are especially useful once the child’s first permanent molars begin to erupt. This is typically between the ages of 6 and 12. Dental sealants can also be helpful for adult patients who struggle with periodontal disease or have suffered from tooth decay in the past. The entire treatment can be completed in one simple visit to our office, and they are easily replaced when needed.
What Do Dental Sealants Look Like?
Dental sealants are typically made with a clear resin material, though they can also be matched to your specific tooth color as well. Since they are typically applied to the back molars, they are a virtually invisible treatment.
How Do They Work?
Sealants work by creating a protective layer between your tooth and the cavity-creating bacteria that release the acid that causes tooth decay. By smoothing the chewing surface, sealants also make your tooth easier to clean and care for.
How Long Do They Last?
A dental sealant is a durable treatment that can last up to nine or 10 years when cared for appropriately. In some rare cases, they can pop out, which is one of the reasons it is important to receive a regular examination with our dentist. Sealants can be easily replaced if it is discovered one is missing.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
Some patients complain about a strange taste in their mouth or an urge to bite into something that lasts several minutes after the sealant is applied, but this is normal and will fade away quickly once you return home. We recommend staying away from hard or sticky foods for at least 24 hours after treatment. You will be able to brush and floss as usual.
When Should I Get a Dental Sealant?
There is no best time to have a dental sealant placed. As a preventive service, they can be used whenever you would like to add an extra layer of protection to your smile. Sealants are not restorative, however, and cannot reverse the effects of tooth decay once decay or tooth pain set in.
What Are the Side Effects?
Some patients experience a mild allergic reaction to the resin material used in dental sealants, but this is rare, and the allergies are not harmful. There are no other recorded side effects.
Do Dental Sealants Hurt?
The entire sealant placement process can be completed in a single visit to our office and does not cause pain. The treatment is noninvasive and can be completed in three separate steps. The tooth is cleaned, the sealant is painted onto the tooth, and a light is shined over the sealant to ensure it is hardened into place.
What Is the Difference Between a Sealant and a Filling?
Dental sealants are preventive treatments that help keep cavities from developing in your mouth. Dental fillings are restorative treatments that return your tooth to health after a cavity has already been found. It is easier, less expensive and better for your teeth to prevent cavities before they occur.
To learn more about how our team can use dental sealants to protect you or your child’s smile, call our office today.
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