Protecting your child’s teeth is one of the most important things you can do for their oral health. At Bijan Family Dental Practice, we offer several preventive services and procedures to help keep your child’s oral health in excellent condition. Along we regular checkups and professional cleanings, we may also recommend dental sealants!
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic layers that are typically placed onto the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the permanent posterior (back) teeth. These teeth, the molars, and premolars tend to be more vulnerable to decay. The chewing surfaces of these teeth have grooves, or fissures, that can be deep and difficult to clean. In some cases, they can even be more narrow than the bristle of a toothbrush. The fissures can collect plaque, food debris, and harmful bacteria that eats away at the tooth enamel.
Dental sealants will provide extra protection for the pitted and grooved areas of the molars and premolars. Each sealant acts a barrier between the enamel and the bacteria. They also fill in the grooves and make it easier to clean the occlusal surface. This is especially important for children, most of which have troubling keeping the molars and premolars clean.
We typically recommend sealants, once the chewing surface of a molar or premolar has completely erupted beyond the gumline. During a regular checkup, Dr. Bijan Modjtahedi will able to determine whether or not your child is ready for dental sealants. Most sealants will protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years, between the ages six and 14.
Occasionally, we may recommend a dental sealant for an adult. If you have a history of tooth decay or a fluoride deficiency, a sealant may be right for you.
Dental Sealant Procedure
The dental sealant procedure is fairly simple and straightforward. First, we must prepare the tooth. Dr. Bijan Modjtahedi will polish the occlusal surface and remove any plaque and food debris. Next, we will dry the tooth that is receiving the sealant. Once it is dry, we will etch the enamel to create a rougher surface so the sealant will better adhere to the tooth.
After the tooth has been properly prepared, we will apply the dental sealant using a brush. Next, we use curing light to bond the sealant to the occlusal surface. After the sealant is hard, it will become a plastic coating that protects the tooth from harmful bacteria.
Once the sealant is in place, Dr. Bijan Modjtahedi will check to make sure there are no issues. After the procedure, your child will be able to chew on the tooth as they normally would.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can effectively prevent decay on the occlusal surface for many years. Over time, the sealant may become worn down due to normal wear and tear. During a regular appointment, we will check the sealant for any damage or wear. If need be, we may also recommend a replacement sealant after the other one is no longer effective.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants, call (714) 421-4494 to schedule an appointment today!