Our goal is for our patients to experience the least amount of dental treatment possible. We know that children who enter adulthood with fewer restored teeth will enjoy a lower risk of future dental problems.
Sealants give us a tool that can dramatically reduce the number of fillings placed in permanent teeth during critical stages of growth and development. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves reach into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In fact, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but wide enough for bacteria to hide. It’s easy to see how cavities can form in such a hideout.
If the grooves of permanent teeth are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay occurring on the chewing surfaces decreases. Fortunately, this procedure can be done quickly without discomfort. If the pits and grooves of the teeth are free of cavities, they will be gently cleaned and conditioned for sealants. A resin material with a liquid or gel-like consistency is applied to the pits and grooves and then cured with a blue curing light to make it hard and strong.
Sealants typically last only a few years and they may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. But, this painless and cost-effective step may help your child enter adulthood with a decreased risk of tooth decay and fewer fillings.