Back teeth such as premolars and molars can have deep pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces. These areas can make it difficult to brush effectively. Therefore, bacteria can become trapped and lead to tooth decay. Fortunately, Dr. Luminita Markham can place dental sealants as a preventative measure at Maidu Dental. Sealants are ultra-thin plastic coatings that can shield teeth from cavity-causing bacteria and help patients maintain optimal oral health.
Who Can Benefit from Sealants?
Sealants are most commonly provided for children when their permanent teeth erupt. However, patients of all ages can take advantage of this preventative treatment. In fact, sealants are appropriate for both primary and permanent teeth, and can be beneficial for anyone who is at risk for cavities.
In some cases, sealants can be helpful for young children. For example, if your toddler has teeth with unusually deep grooves or fissures, sealants are an excellent way to protect them from decay and prevent premature tooth loss. Many people assume that baby teeth are not important. However, they serve many significant purposes. In addition to providing proper nutrition through chewing function, they “hold space” for permanent teeth and help develop appropriate speech patterns. Sealants are a simple and affordable way to preserve your child’s oral health.
Adults can have deep grooves or pits on their teeth as well. These areas are simply a variation of normal dental anatomy; however, they tend to harbor bacteria easily. Areas vulnerable to a buildup of plaque and debris can benefit from sealants. If you are looking for a way to protect your teeth from cavities, sealants are an excellent option.
Dental Sealants Treatment Process
Receiving sealants is a simple and straightforward process, and can typically be completed in less than ten minutes. First, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove any plaque deposits, food, or debris. Next, Dr. Markham will determine which teeth need to be treated, and will use a gentle stream of air to dry them. She will then apply a mildly acidic solution called dental etch, which will roughen the surfaces in preparation for the sealants. After a few moments, the etch will be rinsed off, and the teeth will be thoroughly dried once more. Next, the liquid dental sealant material will be painted onto the chewing surfaces and hardened with a dental curing light. Because the dental material is clear, your sealants will be virtually invisible.
Maintaining Your Dental Sealants
Your sealants will be assessed at every routine dental examination to ensure they are working properly. It is also important to practice excellent oral hygiene at home between visits. While sealants help protect the teeth from bacteria, they are not substitutes for brushing and flossing. Dr. Markham may also speak with you about receiving regular fluoride treatments to help keep your enamel strong and resilient to decay. With proper maintenance and care, sealants last approximately ten years.
Contact Our Office Today
Sealants and other preventative treatments can help you invest in your long-term oral health. Patients of all ages can adequately protect their teeth with this simple treatment. If you would like to learn more about dental sealants or other preventative measures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Markham at our Auburn, CA practice. You can reach us by calling our office at (530) 823-8771 or by contacting us online.