You already know that brushing and flossing are important, and you perform these tasks diligently every day. However, even with proper oral care, there are still some areas of the mouth that are just more difficult to completely clean. One of these areas is the tops of your back molars, where deep crevices provide the perfect hiding places for bacteria and food particles. Without effective cleaning, these areas can develop decay, which can then turn into cavities. Once the cavities form, they continue to grow in size unless treated and can compromise the structure and health of the affected teeth. At Edge Dental, we can help to prevent the formation of cavities in these vulnerable spaces of your teeth with dental sealants.
How Do I Get Cavities?
Cavities are pits that form on the surfaces of your teeth as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when acids produced from plaque and bacteria, as well as those from foods and beverages, sit on the surfaces of your teeth. These acids erode the enamel as they eat away at this protective layer, leading to weak spots. When too much erosion occurs, cavities form. Once a cavity forms, it cannot be reversed. Instead, it needs to be treated with a filling. Both decay and cavities can also be prevented, and sealants can help.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a synthetic application made up of plastic. They are applied to the chewing surfaces of your back molars, effectively covering over the deep crevices on these teeth to prevent bacteria and food particles from getting trapped. In addition to preventing buildup, sealants also make the tops of your molars much easier to maintain.
Placing Your Sealants
Placing sealants is a quick procedure, taking less than 30 minutes to complete. Before the placement of sealants, any existing cavities need to be treated. The teeth need to be cleaned before the sealants can be placed. We thoroughly clean out the crevices on the surfaces of your molars, ensuring to debris or bacteria remain. Next, an acid etch is applied to the surfaces of the teeth, which creates a rough texture. This allows for a stronger bond between the sealant material and your teeth. The acid etch washed off and your teeth dried. The sealant material is applied and finally cured using a special light. Once cured, your molars are provided with immediate protection from the accumulation of bacteria and other debris.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Despite being made from plastic, sealants are fairly strong and can stand up to most normal daily use. They can last for several years. In the event your sealants are damaged, they can be replaced.
It is important to keep in mind that sealants are not an alternative to good oral hygiene practices. They are designed to make regular care easier. Sealants only protect the surfaces over which they are applied. Cavities can still develop on other surfaces of your teeth, including around the borders of your sealants. To maintain optimal oral health, it is essential that you continue to brush and floss daily as well as maintain regular dental cleanings and exams.
Who Can Get Sealants?
Sealants are commonly associated with children. While younger patients do tend to be more prone to cavities, anyone can develop them. No matter what your age, we can help you to determine if sealants are an ideal treatment to meet your needs.
When combined with good brushing and flossing habits, as well as regular dental visits, sealants can help to protect vulnerable areas of your teeth from the formation of decay and cavities. Call Edge Dental at (281) 940-6960 today to find out if sealants are right for you.
General and Cosmetic Dentistry
From crowns and bridges to periodontal care and extractions, Justin Lai, DDS offers a wide range of general and cosmetic dental treatments. If you have a dental concern, Dr. Lai will have a solution.
Edge Dental is equipped with digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras and 3-dimensional cone beam imaging to gain the best possible information about patient dental health. This enables Dr. Lai to view teeth, gum tissue and surrounding bone structures in high resolution from all angles. Based on findings, treatment plans are designed to optimize oral health with minimally invasive procedures.
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