Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating placed over the chewing surfaces of teeth to reduce the risk of cavities. Dr. Brett Hester typically recommends sealants for children, as they are more prone to decay. However, adult patients at a high risk of developing cavities may also benefit from this treatment. Our team is dedicated to helping patients maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime. You can rest assured that you and your family will receive personalized treatment at our Valdosta, GA, practice.
Are Sealants Necessary?
While brushing and flossing can help prevent decay, they may not always be sufficient. Despite practicing regular dental hygiene habits, many patients still develop cavities. This is especially true for molars, which can be an ideal place for cavities to form due to the fact that they are harder to reach and feature many pits and grooves.
Sealants serve as an extra layer of protection against cavity-inducing bacteria and lingering food particles that create acids in the mouth. This acid can form holes, or cavities, in the teeth. Dental sealants have been found to reduce the risk of decay in molars by nearly 80 percent.
Who Can Benefit from Sealants?
Dental sealants are often recommended for children as their first molars erupt. Typically, molars develop between the ages of six and 12. However, only 43 percent of children between the ages of six and 11 have sealants.
For our younger patients, this additional layer of protection is especially important. School-age children whose teeth are not protected by sealants are three times more likely to suffer from cavities than children with them. In some cases, Dr. Hester may also recommend sealants for teens or adults who are prone to cavities.
Dental sealants are easily applied in just a few minutes.
The Sealant Placement Process
Sealants are typically applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth because these areas have deep grooves that are especially vulnerable to leftover food and bacteria. However, sometimes he may feel it is necessary to place sealants on baby teeth if they feature deep depressions. The application of sealants is a quick, painless procedure, taking only a matter of minutes.
Dental sealants have been found to reduce the risk of decay in molars by nearly 80 percent.
First, Dr. Hester will clean and dry the teeth before applying an acidic gel, which roughens the surface of the tooth to ensure a firm bond between the tooth and the sealant. After a matter of seconds, he will remove the gel from the tooth, again drying the treatment before placing the sealant. Dr. Hester will then harden the sealant with a special blue light.
Additional Benefits of Sealants
In addition to the simple and pain-free application, sealants are also covered by insurance making them an affordable preventive method that can save patients the expenses associated with the restorative care needed to treat decay. With proper care, sealants can last for more than 10 years.
Your Health is Our Priority
If you feel that you or your child may benefit from a dental sealant treatment, contact us online or call us at (229) 247-3400. As your family dentist, oral health is Dr. Hester’s priority and he will recommend the best treatment for you.