Dental Sealants in Vienna, VA
What are Dental Sealants?
A sealant is a preventive treatment that seals out bacteria and food particles that can cause cavities and tooth decay on permanent teeth. This treatment is typically done when a child’s first permanent back teeth or the molars and premolars erupt.
Sealants and fillings are similar since they use the same type of materials. However, fillings are for restorative procedures to fix damaged teeth, whereas sealants are for prevention.
Even with the best oral health routines, deterioration of the enamel can still occur from medications and genetics. Sealants can help provide more support to those teeth where the enamel is affected.
It is important to note that sealants can only be placed on the chewing surface. This means that the smooth areas and in between the teeth are still at risk for cavities, and it is important to floss and brush regularly to help those areas.
Reasons for sealants include:
- Children and teenagers: As soon as the six-year molars appear or anytime throughout the cavity prone years between six and sixteen
- Baby teeth: Sealants are occasionally done if baby teeth have grooves or depressions, and the child is prone to cavities.
- Adults: Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions
Sealants can last up to ten years and can be reapplied as needed. Our dentist in Vienna, VA, provides sealants on a case-by-case basis. Every child’s mouth is unique, and we provide treatment based on their dental development and dental needs.
How do Dental Sealants Protect Teeth from Tooth Decay?
Sealants effectively protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from decay and cavities. However, they are not for everyone. For example, if you have teeth already treated with fillings or other restorations, sealants cannot be used on those teeth. It is also important to note that teeth already compromised by decay, even a small amount, should not be sealed as this will lock in the decay.
Sealants prevent dental decay of your child’s teeth by preventing plaque build-up. Plaque build-up is a dental disease that can lead to dental decay, cavities, disease of the gums, and other dental issues.
When dental plaque is sealed out, bacteria that cause dental caries cannot grow or cause dental decay. As a result, dental sealants can improve oral hygiene and dental care. Glass ionomer sealants also release fluoride, which can help strengthen teeth and keep your smile healthy.
Types of Dental Sealants for Dental Health
The American Dental Association recommends children receive sealant treatment when their six-year and twelve-year molars erupt to protect against cavities. Here are the two types of sealants that are used.
Glass ionomer sealants are applied by acid etching to bond them to the patient’s teeth. They also release fluoride, an essential mineral to help strengthen teeth enamel.
Composite resin sealants are applied and then cured with a special light. They are made of plastic and ceramic mixed material and will match the natural tooth color well. This type of sealant does not release fluoride, but they are very durable and can last 5 to 10 years.
Dental Sealant Process
Sealants provide extra protection to your child’s teeth to help prevent decay and cavities. First, the tooth or teeth will need to be cleaned and dried. Our dentist will then place a small amount of an acid solution on the teeth where the sealant will be applied. This process roughens the tooth’s surface to allow for the resin to bond correctly.
Next, our dentist will carefully apply a thin coating of the sealant material onto the enamel surface to cover the grooves or depressions. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.
Once the tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves and uneven surfaces become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. In addition, sealants make brushing more effective against tooth decay.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Sealants are an excellent preventative to help fight against cavities and decay. If you or your children require sealants or other preventive dental services, our team at Capital Esthetics and Family Dentistry is here for you! To schedule, contact our dental office today at 703-225-0040.