Preventing Teeth Decay through Dental Sealants

Preventing Teeth Decay through Dental Sealants

December 1, 2021

Teeth decay occurs when the bacterium naturally found in the mouth combines with food particles found on the teeth’s surfaces and form corrosive acids. The acid wears away the teeth’s enamel leading to cavities.

Although we brush and floss as required, tiny food particles hide in the pits and fissures in the back teeth that cannot be removed through regular cleaning. The enamel of our teeth also grows thin over many years of wear and tear, leaving the teeth prone to decay.

Dental sealants in Salem, MA, are used to help fight against teeth decay and subsequent cavities. A dental sealant is a transparent protective plastic coating applied to the surface of the teeth to protect the structure of the tooth from decay caused by oral bacteria.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

A qualified dental professional applies sealants in a quick, painless, and easy procedure. They are in a liquid form and, when applied, flow into the deep grooves, fissures, and pits and harden immediately.

Dental sealants prevent up to 80% percent of cavities and eliminate the need for costly and invasive treatments caused by extensive teeth decay. In addition, they are used to effectively prevent cavities and stop the spread of small cavities detected early enough.

These plastic coatings prevent tooth decay from taking place inside the tooth, thereby protecting teeth from infected root canals.

The surface structures of the molars and premolars have pits and fissures which aid in chewing. Food particles get stuck in these grooves and crevices, providing oral bacteria a place to hide and form corrosive acids.

Sealants are placed on the surfaces of the teeth to fill the cusps, seal away the cracks or teeth openings and make the rough surfaces smoother and easier to clean. Dental sealants also create a barrier that keeps out bacteria which lead to teeth decay.

Wear and tear of the enamel occur when we grow older and leave our teeth exposed to attacks of oral bacteria that cause decay. Bacteria and plaque are prevented from attacking the weakened enamel through the use of sealants.

When the enamel is affected, the inner part of the tooth is unprotected therefore leading to tooth sensitivity. Dentists use dental sealants for sensitive teeth protection.

Dental Sealant Materials

There are two commonly used materials to seal teeth and keep bacteria away; composite resin and glass ionomer.

  1. Composite Resin

Composite resin sealants consist of a ceramic and a plastic compound. These sealants are easily applied with a dental curing light and blend well with the color of your teeth. This material is strong and durable, offering your teeth protection against dental decay for up to ten years. In addition, it has a higher retention rate than glass ionomers and does not require further upkeep.

  1. Glass Ionomer

The glass ionomer material used in dental sealants is very effective in reducing teeth decay. Once they are applied to the teeth, they release fluoride on the teeth surface, strengthening the tooth enamel further. Moreover, the antibacterial property found in fluoride keeps away bacteria that cause decay. Although these sealants do not last as long as composite resin ones, they continue mineralizing the tooth enamel even after small leaks occur.

How Are Sealants Placed?

The procedure for placing dental sealants is quite easy and requires only a single visit to the dentist. All the surfaces of your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned using professional dental products and devices.

Your dentist will examine the teeth thoroughly for signs of decay after the teeth have been washed and dried. If there are signs of decay, the proper treatment is administered before continuing with the procedure.

An acidic solution is placed on the surfaces of the teeth to be treated for a few seconds, then carefully rinsed out and dried. This acid creates a rough surface that enables the sealant to attach to the tooth properly.

The liquid sealant is applied to the teeth. It is then hardened with a curing light to become a hard plastic varnish coating without taste or smell. You can use the teeth immediately after treatment.

Although sealants offer protection against cavities for several years, it is important to continue your regular dental checkups and daily cleanings. Also, the dentist will check for chipping or wearing so that decay does not get under the sealant.

If you require dental sealants in Salem, MA, schedule an appointment with the dental professionals in Mass Bay Dental.

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