Dental Sealants in Manchester, MO
At Baxter Dental Group of Manchester, MO, we provide pediatric and adult dental sealants to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are one of the most effective methods of preventing cavities on the surfaces where they are placed. They are recommended for those who are prone to higher levels of tooth decay, regardless of age.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are made from thin layers of resin that protect the molar and premolar teeth located in the back of the mouth. The chewing surfaces of these teeth have grooves (also called fissures) that make them more vulnerable to decay. Since the fissures can be deep, it sometimes is difficult to properly clean the back teeth.
When the cavity-causing bacteria that lives in everyone’s mouths (known as plaque) accumulates, it attacks the outer enamel of the teeth and produces decay. In the molars and premolars, decay creates holes in the fissures, thus forming cavities. Sealants are placed as a protective barrier against the bacteria and work to prevent future decay.
How are Dental Sealants Applied?
As with many dental procedures, the affected tooth or teeth are thoroughly cleaned with a paste and rotating brush by either a dentist or hygienist. Once the affected area is clean, the dentist will rinse the paste and dry the tooth. Next, an acidic gel is applied to the tooth and washed away after a few seconds. The gel creates microscopic rough areas on the tooth to help the sealant attach with ease.
After the tooth has been rinsed and dried from the gel, the sealant is placed. When it is first applied, the sealant is in a liquid state. The dentist will use a blue light to harden the resin, thus making it firm. Once it’s hardened and dried, the fissure will have a smooth, plastic varnish coating and the patient can chew foods immediately following their appointment.
How do Dental Sealants Work?
The best way to describe the work of a dental sealant is to compare it to an umbrella. When it rains, the umbrella’s job is to protect its user from becoming wet. It acts as a barrier between the person and the rain, keeping them dry.
A dental sealant acts in much the same way. When placed properly, sealants protect the back teeth’s fissures from the surrounding bacteria. The plastic-like resin is also a barrier between the tooth and the plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.
Dental Sealants for Kids
When children are more prone to tooth decay, whether from genetic or lifestyle factors, sealants can greatly reduce the risk of cavities. In fact, school-age children without sealants have three times more cavities on average than those that have the resin, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, dental sealants for kids have been shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80% in molars.
Both baby and primary teeth can be sealed, but the child should be old enough to tolerate the painless procedure by holding still and keeping their mouth open. The earlier a patient receives sealants, the better, in order to prevent restorative procedures down the road.
Dental Sealants for Adults
Although most commonly applied in children, dental sealants can also assist adults. As patients age, their exposure to tooth decay increases. In many cases, the vulnerability is caused by a change in the saliva. Certain medications can decrease the protective quality of saliva, thus creating the opportunity for plaque to form cavities.
The dental sealant procedure only takes a few minutes per tooth and can significantly reduce the amount of cavities present in the molars. For adults who are prone to tooth decay, having sealants allows them to continue their lives without pain and sensitivity.
Contact the Pediatric & Adult Dental Sealants Team in Manchester, MO Today
Although sealants can last for many years, they should be monitored and maintained during regular dental visits to ensure they stay strong. Therefore, it is important to schedule a dental cleaning every six months to properly care for your teeth and their sealants. Dr. Wehrmeister and Dr. Woodruff both stay on the leading edge of all dentistry specialties, so rest assured that when you receive dental sealants at our office, you are in good hands.
Both of our dentists are experts in their fields and possess decades of experience combined helping patients in the Manchester and Ballwin, MO, areas. They are honored members in several dental associations, both in Missouri and nation-wide. Plus, the experienced team at Baxter Dental Group will ensure that you are comfortable and leave with a smile. If you believe a dental sealant will assist you or your child, give us a call at (636) 735-7129 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment today.