Keeping cavities away involves good oral hygiene practices. Along with meticulous brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, dental sealants are a valuable tool in protecting your pearly whites. Dental sealants have proven effective since the 1970’s—that’s how long they have been helping people remain cavity-free on the molars and premolars. Also known as pit and fissure sealants, they provide a nearly invisible barrier against bacteria, sticky plaque and food particles on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Because molars sit so far back in the mouth, they are hard to brush and floss properly, making them susceptible to dental caries. Their flat surface is prone to fissures and grooves which in turn hold onto bacteria and sticky plaque. Dental sealants shield the teeth from this harmful oral residue.
Dental sealants can be applied in just one visit to our office, and is a simple, painless procedure. A thin plastic coating is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Once the sealant is applied to the tooth enamel, it hardens and bonds to the tooth. The resin coating can be tinted, white or clear. Whenever you go to future dental cleanings, the sealants are carefully inspected to make sure they are free from cracks or fissures.
Dental sealants can last up to 10 years but generally 5-7 years is more common. The key is proper care and maintenance. Also, while sealants are mostly applied to the molars and premolars of children and teenagers, adults are also candidates for sealants if they are prone to cavities, but currently have no cavities or fillings in the molars.
When used along with a good oral hygiene routine—thorough daily brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups and cleanings—sealants offer proven protection against cavities. Please call our team at 704.873.2211 if you would like to schedule an appointment with our doctor, Jon C. Packman.