When you’re in Alaska, crevasses are great…in glaciers.
Here in Edison, we don’t like crevasses, pits, or fissures…in your teeth.
Pits in your molars can be a real problem for your teeth. They’re just a result of genetics — either your molars have deep pits or fissures in the top or you’re lucky and they don’t. Those pits are the pits, however, because food gets down in there and no matter how well you brush you often can’t get it out. And you know where that leads — decay and cavities. And that’s the pits.
That’s where sealants from the team at Gentle Dental come in.
What are sealants?
The above comparison to crevasses is apropos with your molars. They can develop deep creases down into the center of the molar. Food loves to makes its way down into these deep creases where it is almost impossible to remove with a toothbrush. Sealants do their job by filling in the bottom of these deep fissures. At Gentle Dental we use a strong resin or glass ionomer for these jobs. We paint the sealant onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant is cured with a special light and this hardened surface then fills in the depressions and grooves in the molars, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth. Now, food can’t get down into the pits and attract bacteria.
Who should have sealants put on their teeth?
At Gentle Dental, we like to be safer than sorry with our younger patients. We recommend that children and teenagers with even moderate grooves in their teeth should get sealants. The reason for this is simple prevention. The ages from 6 to 14 are the most cavity-prone years and sealants can head off some of these potential cavities. Plus, our younger patients aren’t always the most diligent with their home hygiene. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed any decay and are without fillings.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants is simple.
- First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
- This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
- Sealant is painted onto the tooth and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during the cavity prone years.
Like fluoride, sealants are a great preventive measure to head off the development of cavities in young mouths. If your child hasn’t had sealants placed yet, let’s look at the creases in his or her teeth. Call us at Gentle Dental, (732) 549-5660 to make an appointment.