Dentistry is a science, much like medicine is. Also, like medicine, research is always being done to find new and better ways to treat dental problems as also to prevent problems with your oral health. One of the most important areas of research is the quest to find better ways to prevent dental caries or cavities.
One of the reasons this is such an important area of research is because cavities are the primary cause of the loss of your teeth, plus also the expense you, the patient, incurs if your cavities become too large to fill simply. One of the most important breakthroughs in this research is dental sealants. At Harry Albers DDS, we are trained and experienced in applying these sealants to your teeth.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are protective coatings that are applied to your teeth. They are thin and made of plastic and other dental materials. When we apply the dental sealant, it adheres to your teeth and forms a protective coating to them. The reason they are important is that of the way your teeth are structured and used. Most of the time, dental sealants are applied to your back teeth – your molars.
Molars are the teeth that take the most abuse. They are used for chewing and tearing which makes them rough and uneven. This uneven and rough surface provides the perfect place for food particles to hide. Once hidden, your toothbrush can’t reach them but the bacteria that causes cavities to form can. Applying a dental sealant seals the molar and provides a barrier that prevents food particles from hiding from your toothbrush.
Can Anyone Get Them?
For the most part, dental sealants are most valuable for children. A child’s first molars breakthrough at about age six and again around age 12. As their permanent molars come in the sealant can be applied. This protects their teeth at the most crucial time in their lives. Children are more likely to forget to floss or have not yet perfected the proper way to brush.
As all parents know, children get to a point in their lives when they want to “do it themselves.” We can help with that if we see signs that their brushing isn’t doing the job, but with a dental sealant in place, you can rest more easily knowing that there is an invisible protective device in place. The protection from the dental sealants can last from four to ten years.
Adults can also benefit from dental sealants, but not all adult teeth are good candidates for the sealants. If you have teeth that have previously been restored with filings, for example, you would not be a good candidate. If your teeth have shallow grooves or pits in your molars or you practice good dental hygiene the sealant would not offer you much more protection than you already perform yourself.
Applying the sealant is a simple and painless procedure. If you have any questions or wonder if you or your child would benefit from dental sealants, contact Harry Albers DDS at (707) 575-1190. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.