Dental Sealants in Scripps Ranch
Sealants are dental materials placed on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to protect them from dental caries (a.k.a., cavities). According to the American Dental Association, sealants placed on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80 percent. Dr. Jennifer Santoro believes sealants are a very useful part of a preventative dentistry program — particularly for children and teenagers, although adults can also benefit from sealants.
Sealants are safe, inexpensive and can be quickly placed during a simple in-office procedure. Often, they are covered by dental insurance. Sealants have been shown to last for several years without any problems.
Could I Benefit from Sealants?
Brushing and flossing are excellent ways to keep the teeth clean and reduce the risk of cavities. However, there are many minuscule nooks and crannies on the teeth’s chewing surfaces, especially on the back teeth (the molars), where bacteria and acids can hide and lead to serious problems, eventually destroying the hard dental tissues over time.
Sealants are designed to protect these nooks and crannies, helping to seal out plaque and acids before they cause cavities, thus preventing the need for extensive, costly dental treatment down the line. Sealants are thin layers of composite material that are painted onto the rough, uneven chewing surfaces of the teeth to act as a physical barrier and add an extra layer of protection against cavities. They don’t interfere with brushing or flossing, which are integral parts of any oral hygiene routine.
Because sealants are made from plastic, some people have worried about exposure to BPA. However, studies have shown that there is less BPA exposure with sealants than there is in using cosmetics or even breathing air.
Patients of all ages can benefit from sealants, although they are more commonly recommended to children once the permanent molars appear. Sealing these teeth early helps keep them healthy and cavity free for many years.
Dental Sealant Treatment Step-by-Step
The process of applying sealants is painless and very quick. It can be completed during an in-office appointment that lasts less than half an hour.
First, the tooth or teeth receiving the sealants are thoroughly cleaned and dried. A special acidic gel is placed on the chewing surface of the tooth to rough it up and prepare it to receive the sealant. After the gel has sat on the tooth for a few seconds, it is rinsed off and the tooth is dried again. Then, the plastic material is painted onto the grooves and fissures of the tooth surface and hardened with a blue light.
Dr. Santoro checks sealants during regularly scheduled dental visits and can reapply them as needed. Sealants can last several years without any problems. Teeth that have received sealants should be brushed and flossed daily to prevent dental problems.
Schedule a Dental Consultation
If you would like more information about protecting your teeth from cavities with dental sealants, Dr. Santoro invites you to call or email Village Center Dentistry for details. We would also be happy to schedule an appointment for treatment with sealants at your convenience.