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How Do Dental Sealants Work?

A whopping 96% of Canadian adults have had tooth decay at some point.

Fortunately, dental technologies help protect and fix teeth in ways. Dental sealants are one of them. This article will tell you everything you need to know about dental sealants and how they work.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin coating that spreads across the narrow grooves of your back teeth — the premolars and molars. This sealant bonds and moulds the teeth, creating a protective shield over the teeth' enamel.

You can think of it as sealing cracks in a sidewalk or a driveway. Since the grooves of your teeth are completely sealed, no bacteria or food particles settle inside the cracks — the main cause of cavities.

When used appropriately, it can significantly reduce tooth decay (cavities).

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Any dentist or hygienist can apply sealants to your teeth. It's a relatively simple process.

  1. The dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth to make sure there are no food particles left

  2. The dentist examines your teeth for any tooth decay

  3. The dentist will dry your teeth and surround them with absorbent material

  4. A mild etchant (acid etch solution) is applied to each tooth to roughen the surface, which allows it to bond to the material easier

  5. Each tooth is rinsed and dried again

  6. Depending on the type of sealant used, the dentist will apply a small amount of bonding agent

  7. They will paint the dental sealant onto the top surface of the teeth

  8. A curing light hardens the dental sealant

In order to apply sealant successfully, the teeth must be isolated from other contaminants like saliva. Sometimes ozone gas is also used to eliminate any bacteria that might be around the tooth.

Is Sealant Used For Existing Tooth Decay?

If the cavities are small, dental sealants can be applied on top of it to prevent any further decay. However, the ideal process is treating the decay before adding any dental sealant.

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealant is highly effective and can last anywhere from 3 to 10 years. However, some factors might shorten the lifespan of the bond, such as for the person who grinds or clenches their teeth, eats a highly acidic diet, or suffers from acid reflux.

You don't need to care for the dental sealants in any special way — you can simply brush and floss as you usually do. A soft bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste that has remineralizing agents are ideal.

Some foods and drinks may stain the sealants, including coffee, red wine, tea, and berries. Chewy and sticky foods may cause the sealants to pop off. If the sealants are removed, see your dentist immediately.

Get Dental Sealants Today

Dental sealants are a great and easy way to protect your teeth from tooth decay. If you're ready to get your teeth protected, make sure you choose a dentist you can trust.

Book an appointment at Northland Village Dental Centre in Calgary today!


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