Dental Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to cover the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth, i.e., the molars and premolars, to prevent tooth decay. It was invented in the 1960s and has widely been in use since then.
The chewing surface of the back teeth has grooves, also known as fissures. Fissures are relatively deep, difficult to clean, and are so wide that it is unreachable to a single bristle of the toothbrush, thereby making them vulnerable to decay. Plaque accumulates in that area which becomes the cause for cavities. Thus, dental sealants provide extra protection to the grooved areas by covering those fissures appropriately.
We can understand your concern related to the lifespan of something that looks like a simple plastic cover. However, you should know that dental sealants are durable and can last for more than ten years in your teeth. Sealants are fixed to your teeth and need not be removed. They do wear away as time passes and are entirely gone after a few years.
As long as the teeth are not overly stressed and are sturdy, they can last for more than their actual lifespan. Nonetheless, dentists would instruct you to not chew hard foods like ice and popcorn kernels, or open tough packaging using your teeth. Doing these not only affects your tooth enamel but also makes the sealants wear down faster.
You also have to visit for a checkup after you have applied your sealants. If the dentists notice that the sealants have worn off, they will make necessary adjustments accordingly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants are applied on the teeth of children who are between the age of 6 to 11 years. Since decay develops quite quickly in the depressions and grooves of the premolar and molars, dental sealants have become extremely vital for children and teenagers today. Moreover, adults can also enjoy the benefits of sealants, that is, not having decay or fillings in their molars.
It is always recommended that children get their sealants on permanent molars and premolars. This way, their teeth are safe from cavities or tooth decay. Also, in some cases, like baby teeth having a deep depression and grooves, dental sealants are very beneficial. Since baby teeth are significant in holding a correct space for permanent teeth, it is advisable to keep these teeth healthy with dental sealants to avoid early teeth loss.
As we know, dental sealants are applied to the surface of the molars and premolars, protecting the child’s teeth from bacteria that can cause tooth decay or cavities. Sealants are most effective during the first four years after their application. However, it should still be examined regularly by your child’s dentist to check for any premature damage or wear that can cause tooth decay. If they encounter such a situation, they will immediately make adjustments accordingly. Thus, it is suggested to get your dental sealants checked once every six months.
Dental Health PC offers comprehensive dental care services in Corvallis, OR including dental sealant placement. For more details and appointments call us at (541) 757 1829, book online, or visit us at 869 NW 23rd Street, Corvallis, OR 97330.