Dental sealants are clear, white, or tooth-colored protective coverings that are applied to the outer surface of the teeth in order to prevent dental decay. They are a preventative dental treatment most commonly used on the molars because molars contain pits and fissures that can make it easy for decay to occur. Once applied, they are able to seal the tooth and protect it from being harmed by the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Did you know…
Dental sealants are commonly used for children. In fact, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research notes that about 1 in every 3 children from the ages of 6-12 currently used dental sealants as a preventative measure.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for dental sealants?
In most cases, dental sealants are recommended for younger children who may struggle with practicing adequate daily dental hygiene. However, this does not mean that they are exclusively used for children. Adults may be candidates for dental sealants if they are unable to brush the back of their mouth due to arthritis or other issues, cannot follow a daily dental routine, or have certain medical conditions that puts them at a higher risk for developing tooth decay. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental sealants, schedule a consultation with your North Vancouver dental office today.
How are dental sealants placed at Town Centre Dental?
At Town Centre Dental, your teeth will first need to be professionally cleaned before dental sealants can be placed. This ensures that all the plaque and bacteria have been removed from the tooth surface and will not get trapped underneath the sealant. Then, your North Vancouver dentist will prepare the surface of your teeth by applying an acidic solution that roughens the enamel for better adhesion. This solution will then be rinsed, your teeth will be dried, and the dental sealant will be brushed over the chewing surface of your molars. Some dental sealants may need to sit in place to harden, while others may be hardened with a curing light.
How long do dental sealants last?
Once applied, dental sealants can remain on the teeth for up to nine years. However, they are the most effective during the first two years, with a slow decline in effectiveness after that. In the first two years, dental sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay by 80%. After four years, this drops to 50%. For this reason, most dentists recommend having sealants reapplied after four years. Furthermore, any chips or damage may warrant the replacement of your sealant.
Are dental sealants safe?
Although there has been some question on the safety of dental sealants due to the use of BPA, both the Canadian Dental Association and Health Canada have declared dental sealants to be safe. To be clear, BPA is not an actual ingredient in dental sealants. Rather, minuscule amounts of BPA are temporarily produced during sealant placement. However, the exposure ends as soon as the placement is over. Furthermore, most dental sealants do not release BPA during their application.