Keeping teeth clean is a necessity for proper oral hygiene, but reaching every nook and cranny can be difficult, even after proper brushing and flossing. Molars are notoriously hard to clean as they are located far back in the mouth and have plenty of grooves and uneven surfaces where leftover food can get stuck. With dental sealants, or teeth sealants, from Thornton Park Dental Arts, our dentists in Orlando, FL can help patients protect their molars and ensure their chomp stays strong.
Working as covers for the teeth, dental sealants are small, protective coatings that are attached to the chewing surface of the molars and premolars. These sealants are mainly applied to children’s teeth, as the sooner the application process occurs, the sooner protection from bacteria and decay can begin. That being said, adults are still able to have sealants applied, if deemed necessary. The sealant itself varies in color and texture depending on the type of material used but is typically hard to notice and adds very little cosmetic difference to the surface of the tooth.
The teeth found in the back of the mouth are highly susceptible to bacteria and decay. The grooves or “fissures” found in molars and premolars are notoriously difficult to clean, and daily brushing and flossing doesn’t always remove all the plaque-causing material that attacks the enamel and leads to cavities. By applying dental sealants to the surface of the tooth, it effectively limits the amount of food that is able to find its way into those grooves — limiting the amount of bacteria and acids that can grow and rot the surface of the tooth.
A note from Dr. Angulo about sealants:
It’s possible we might be a little passionate about sealants at Thornton Park Dental Arts. At least I am.
In theory, placing a sealant is one of the least invasive procedures in dentistry. Sealants are relatively inexpensive and very few dentists get too excited about placing them on teeth. In fact, many dentists delegate the task of placing sealants to their hygienists or dental assistants with little to no supervision. To these dentists, there is no glory or satisfaction in dealing with sealants.
That is not how I view sealants. When someone chooses my office and trusts me with their child’s teeth I view each sealant as a promise to the parents and to their child. I’m promising to do everything possible to prevent future decay on the surfaces that I seal.
Using either our Solea CO2 laser or a regular handpiece with a tiny bur the grooves and crevices on the tooth are thoroughly cleaned. Leaving food or decay-causing bacteria on the tooth is not tolerated. Next, we apply and agitate an acid that etches the enamel surface allowing an adhesive to properly wet the tooth. The actual sealant material goes on as a liquid that is then light-cured into a solid state. We ensure during the entire process that we have excellent isolation of the tooth to prevent contamination from saliva or the tongue dragging onto the tooth. We also double-check the sealant for gaps or voids.
At future visits we reinspect each sealant. The expectation is that the sealants are effectively keeping these surfaces free of cavities.
Maintaining and caring for a tooth with a dental sealant doesn’t require adding any extra steps to a daily routine. With regular visits to our Orlando dentist office and healthy habits regarding brushing and flossing, patients can enjoy the benefits of dental sealants for many years after they are applied.
Cavities are a painful nuisance, and for every one that needs to be filled, that’s more time and money wasted. With teeth sealants, it’s never been easier to keep a strong and healthy bite, all while protecting your teeth from bacteria and decay. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with our dentist office in Orlando, contact us today.