Wednesday, May 4, 2016
With the eruption of the permanent 6 and 12 year molars, we start discussing dental sealants with parents. Sealants are a relatively easy preventative procedure. It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Many parents have researched dental sealants and may be concerned about to introduction of BPA. Our sealants are BPA free. The list of BPA free sealants, compiled by the ADA, is listed below. The brand we use is Clinpro (3m ESPE). We hope this blog helps answer any questions you may have.
What are Sealants?
A sealant is a flowable liquid we apply to the chewing surface of molars to aid in the prevention of cavities. It acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid. Thus, it protects the decay-prone areas of the teeth. Sealants will not protect your child from getting decay in between the teeth. Therefore, regular brushing and flossing is still strongly recommended.
Here are before and after pictures of a dental sealant
How do Sealants work?
Ensuring that your child is brushing and flossing properly is a tough job. When their permanent molars begin to erupt, the pits of these teeth are deeper than most. Sometimes, even if your child is brushing and flossing like they should, these deep grooves aren’t getting clean. This is where sealants come into play. They “seal” the biting surface of a molar in order to prevent plaque and food from embedding into the grooves, decreasing the risk of decay.
How are sealants applied?
We start by “etching” the tooth. This process preps the tooth, allowing it to retain the sealant. Next we bond the tooth. The bond acts as an extra measure to ensure the sealant stays on. Afterwards, the sealant is placed. Similar to having a filling done, a UV light is used to harden the sealant. During this process, we isolate the tooth to prevent your child from swallowing any of the materials.
How long do they last?
If cared for properly sealants can last for years. Your dentist should check them at every 6 month visit. Repair and re-application may be recommended if necessary.