At Oakwood Dental, we always recommend taking a proactive, preventive approach to dental care rather than a curative one. Whenever possible, it’s always in the patient’s best interest to take steps to protect the health of their teeth and gums, rather than only paying attention to the teeth when problems eventually arise. Preventive dentistry treatments, such as sealants, are well worth the investment.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a fairly simple yet highly effective preventive dental treatment. Sealants are made of a thin layer of composite resin (a type of plastic) that is simply brushed onto the surface of a patient’s molars.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
Sealants work to protect the teeth from tooth decay in two ways:
- First, they create a protective barrier between the surface of a patient’s tooth enamel and the plaque, bacteria, and acid in the mouth that can lead to tooth decay.
- Second, sealants create a smooth surface on the tops of a patient’s molars. Without sealants, the chewing surfaces of molars are irregular and covered with cracks and crevices where food, plaque, and debris can easily get stuck. Smoothed over with a dental sealant, it is much easier to keep the chewing surfaces of the molars clean and free from cavity-causing bacteria.
Who Should Have Dental Sealants
We recommend dental sealants for all of our patients, children and adults alike, who have natural molars that can benefit from the protection that sealants provide.
What To Expect When Getting Dental Sealants
Getting a dental sealant is a quick, simple, painless, and non-invasive process that can be performed after your regular teeth cleaning and examination. Getting dental sealants does not require the use of any anesthetics, and one or multiple dental sealants can be applied at the same time.
First, the dentist cleans and dries the surface of the patient’s tooth. The composite resin is then “painted” onto the tooth’s surface with a small brush. Next, the resin is hardened and cured by applying a special light to the resin for just a moment. Finally, we ask the patient to bite down and tell us how it feels. We can then sand away and smooth the sealant until the bite feels natural and comfortable to the patient – and that’s it!
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants are durable and long-lasting. However, over time, they can become worn down or chipped and might need replacing or touching up.
With a normal amount of wear and tear, dental sealants last an average of about 10 years. If they are exposed to excessive wear and tear, they might not last quite as long. For example, grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, chewing ice, or chewing on hard objects are all activities that can damage dental sealants and result in them needing to be replaced sooner.
Protect Your Oral Health With Preventive Dentistry in Bucyrus
In addition to dental sealants, Oakwood Dental offers patients the very best in preventive dentistry with professional fluoride treatments, dental hygiene appointments, athletic mouthguards, nightguards, patient education, and more!
To learn more about safeguarding your oral health with preventive dentistry, we welcome you to contact our dental office in Bucyrus and schedule your next dental appointment today.