Some people have good parents, but bad genes. Huh? Well, their genetic signature has given them big pits or fissures in their molars. When a person has these deep troughs, it’s almost impossible to get all the food debris and plaque out of their molars. And if you don’t get that stuff out, you know what comes next — decay.
Ah, but what if you could put an acrylic coating down into those molar crevasses, keeping out the food and other stuff? Then you would have dental sealants. At Gentle Dental we apply dental sealants to all of our younger patients.
What are sealants and I’m not talking about that stuff in the infomercials
Sealants are made of plastic. The teeth to be filled are first thoroughly cleaned. Then the sealant, in liquid form, is painted onto the molars. The liquid sealant flows down and fills up the troughs. Once we are satisfied that we’ve created a seal without gaps or holes, the sealant is cured with a special light, bonding it to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.
Who should get sealants?
At Gentle Dental, we recommend that any of our patients who are children and teenagers with even moderate grooves receive sealants. This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed and 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 youth.
If you have children between the ages of 6 and 14, you really should have sealants put on their molars. After all, you’re the one who will be paying for the cavities and fillings! Call us at Gentle Dental (732) 549-5660 to schedule an appointment.