What are dental sealants?

dental staff joking and laughing with their patient

The teeth at the back of the mouth are more vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities.

They're used for heavy chewing, and they have creases and uneven surfaces where debris from the food you eat can easily get stuck. These deposits can attract harmful bacteria that feed off them and later produce acids.

These acids beat down and cause the enamel to erode. When not treated, the teeth can decay and form holes or cavities. As more debris gets trapped in the hole, bacteria also grow and spread.

Brushing and flossing serve as the first line of defense against these common dental issues. But there’s a treatment in the dental office that can also offer protection. It’s called a dental sealant.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin, protective shield that your dentist paints on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth or molars.

They’re usually made from plastic, and once painted, the material quickly adheres to the grooves of the teeth.

Dental sealants keep debris out and reduce your risk for decay and cavities. They’re not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but they’re a great preventative measure.

Sealants cover tight spaces on the surfaces of the teeth that your brush and floss won’t be able to clean. They prevent decay from progressing to a cavity.

Who needs dental sealants?

Both children and adults can experience tooth decay and cavities, making them good candidates for dental sealants.

However, children and teenagers are more likely to develop them as baby teeth have weaker enamel compared to adult teeth. Poor brushing habits and a diet high in sugar and starch can also make children more vulnerable.

Talk to your family dentist in the Red Deer area about getting dental sealants for your child. They may need these protective coatings as soon as their molars come in.

It’s important to protect baby teeth even if they’re bound to be replaced by adult teeth eventually. Baby teeth save space for permanent teeth. That's why premature loss should be avoided as much as possible.

How are dental sealants applied?

Sealant application is quick and painless. The procedure only takes a few minutes to complete for each tooth. Here are the steps involved in applying dental sealants.

  1. Your dentist thoroughly cleans the teeth that are to be sealed.
  2. Each tooth is dried completely using an absorbent material.
  3. Once the teeth are dry, your dentist applies an acid solution on their surfaces to roughen them up. This helps the sealant to adhere to the teeth more easily.
  4. Your dentist then rinses and dries the teeth again.
  5. The last step is the sealant application. Your dentist paints sealants on top of each tooth. They may use a curing light to harden the sealant and strengthen its bond.

Dental sealants may offer protection to your teeth for up to 10 years. However, they’re not resistant to chipping or wearing.

During your routine oral examinations, your dentist checks the condition of your sealants to find out if they need to be fixed or replaced.

Getting Dental Sealants in Red Deer, AB

To know more about getting dental sealants in Red Deer, AB, contact Image Dental today at (403) 342-5800

We’re your friendly family dentist serving patients in our community for over 30 years now. We’re excited to meet you!