Dental Sealants for Adults

Dentists regularly use dental sealants on young adults and children to prevent serious dental issues in the future.  Dental sealants at a young age can prevent cavities and decay but are they helpful to adults? Do dental sealants act as helpful tools in maintaining good oral health in adults as well?

What Is a Dental Sealant?

A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of permanent back teeth to prevent tooth decay and cavities.  The barrier that covers the small grooves and fissures on the top of premolars and molars.  These minute divots in the surface of the tooth can hold food and bacteria even after brushing and flossing; these fissures can be smaller than a single bristle of a toothbrush.  The grooves are vulnerable and can jeopardize the tooth as a whole, but the sealants can prevent problems before they start.

Applying the Sealant

The dental sealant procedure is very easy and without pain for the patient of any age.  The dentist will start by cleaning and drying the tooth, just like a normal dental checkup appointment.  Then the dentist will apply an acidic solution, often a gel, to the surface area where the sealant will be applied.  The acidic helps the sealant bond to the tooth better and keeps it in place longer.  The gel will dry and then the resin of the sealant can be applied.  There are a variety of resins the dentist can use for your sealant and the resin can be adjusted in a number of colors.  You can choose from clear, white or even a resin that closely matches your own tooth color.  No one will be able to see your new sealants when you laugh and talk with this little color tint.  Depending on the kind of resin the dentist uses, the resin may dry on its own or the dentist may use a blue light to cure the resin in place.  Afterwards, you can leave and use your teeth as you normally would and enjoy knowing you took a step to ensure your future dental health.

Why They're Helpful

While most of the time dentists use dental sealants to help keep children’s teeth healthy, longer like fluoride treatments.  Adults can also benefit from dental sealants as a way to help prevent or slow tooth decay.  There is no age when you can start to experience tooth decay or an age when it stops.  As long you are eating and drinking, your mouth can keep small particles of food or bacteria in your teeth and gums.  The plaque usually starts to develop in small depressions and fissures on the surface of your teeth where it is almost too small to be able to address with normal brushing and flossing.  If the plaque has one less place to live, your teeth stand a stronger chance to stay free from decay longer.  A dental sealant is less expensive than a dental crown.

When to Think Twice

Sealants can last about ten years before they need to be replaced.  You will need to be able to make the upfront investment to enjoy the long-term benefits.  Even though they are not permanent, they can delay or even remove the chance of more serious and expensive tooth decay treatments.

More on Dental Sealants : How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?


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Cornerstone Family Dentistry Chapel Hill NC

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At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.