The back teeth are commonly susceptible to trapping bacteria, especially in children with developing teeth. Dental sealants are plastic, acrylic coatings that can be painted onto the surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from trapping bacteria.
The grooves and depressions of the molars and premolars can sometimes create a concave surface that is too deep or narrow to clean effectively with the bristles on your toothbrush. Over time, bacteria and plaque can buildup in this area. If left there to develop, it can lead to other issues like damage or decay.
Dental sealants consist of plastic, acrylic materials that coat the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the molars and premolars. This coating smoothes the surfaces to prevent bacteria from getting trapped, while still allowing you to chew, eat or speak as you would normally. A dental sealant procedure usually begins with us cleaning the pits or grooves of the back teeth first, to make sure that no bacteria or decay gets trapped underneath the sealant. The occlusal surfaces are then prepared by applying an etching gel, to roughen the surfaces a bit. This allows for a more conducive bonding process. Once the tooth has dried, the liquid sealant is painted on, then hardened and bonded with a light. Dental sealants are clear or white, and typically perfectly match your teeth, giving you an effective solution without compromising your smile.
If you’d like to learn more about dental sealants, or if you think you or your child may need one, please give us a call at (919) 355-5331 to schedule an appointment today.