One of the least invasive dental procedures, pit and fissure sealants (sealants) offer patients a quick, painless way to help protect the chewing surfaces of the teeth from dental decay. A thin layer of resin is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth, sealing the grooves and depressions of the back teeth that are hard to reach with regular brushing.
What makes this such a popular choice is the effectiveness of the procedure. After the tooth is cleaned and dried, a liquid resin is applied. As it bonds to the tooth, the resin hardens, leaving behind a smoother surface that is much easier to keep clean. Sealing off the deep pits and grooves of a tooth reduces food from getting stuck deep in these grooves which reduces the chances of decay. None of the tooth structure is removed during this process.
Who can benefit from sealants?
The process is usually recommended for younger children, adolescents, and teenagers once permanent teeth are in place. Because these are the ages where cavities can be a bigger problem, applying sealants at this age can keep teeth healthier longer.
However, sealants can be beneficial at any age. For adult applications, back teeth need to be in good condition to begin with. Sealants are a preventative measure, however, and can’t be used as a way to repair damaged teeth. Sealants can also be used on primary(baby) teeth as well. This will help ensure that teeth are healthy and remain in place until it is time for them to come out.
I have cavities. Are sealants a solution for me?
As stated before, sealants are a preventative measure. If decay is already present, fillings or other options are necessary. The treated teeth must be disease free and structurally sound.
In the case of a very small cavity, it is sometimes possible to place a small filling and seal the rest of the tooth surface which is a conservative way to treat decay. At Creekside Dental, we will inspect the tooth to make sure sealants are an appropriate treatment. If not, we will provide you with a recommendation about what treatment is best.
If you would like more information on sealants or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today. Creekside Dental has been providing multi-generational care to the Vancouver and greater Clark County area for more than 25 years. In addition to sealants, we also provide other cosmetic, general, and hygienic services to our patients.