A Guide to Dental Sealants: Types, Procedure, and Care

A Guide to Dental Sealants: Types, Procedure, and Care

Apr 01, 2021

If you’re looking to preserve your oral health without making any major lifestyle changes, you should consider dental sealants. Dental sealants are thin coatings applied on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, specifically the back teeth. They can also be used on the lingual surfaces of your front teeth.

Dental sealants preserve your oral health by keeping off acid, bacteria, debris, and food particles from your teeth’s surfaces. A sealant forms a protective shield over a tooth, protecting it from the build-up of plaque and bacteria, which could cause cavities.

Dental sealant treatment is a standard, fast, and pain-free procedure that can be completed within one appointment. After that, patients can get back to their regular routine within minutes.

To schedule a consultation for dental sealants, contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners today.

What is the Right Age to Get Dental Sealants?

It’s good to protect your teeth as early as possible before they develop any cavities or dental problems. So, the earlier dental sealants are placed, the better. For this reason, sealants are most effective and successful in preventing cavities in newly erupted permanent teeth.

This makes them perfect for young children. However, teenagers and older patients are also eligible for tooth sealants. You should consult with your dentist to determine whether dental sealants are suitable for you.

Dental Sealants Materials

Based on the reaction that occurs when they are applied to a tooth, dental sealants can be categorized into two categories, namely:

1. Glass Ionomer Sealants

This type of sealanthas an acid-base reaction to a patient’s teeth. They release fluoride, which aids in strengthening the tooth enamel. Besides keeping the tooth strong, fluoride has antibacterial properties, which protect the tooth from decay and infections.

The only major downside of these sealants is that they have a lower retention rate, meaning that they require more upkeep and maintenance compared to composite resin.

However, glass ionomers sealants protect the teeth against cavities better than composite resin sealants

2. Composite Resin Sealants

These sealants are a combination of ceramic and plastic compounds. Composite resin tooth sealants are applied directly to the tooth using a dental curing light. The material blends well with the natural color of the tooth, making them ideal for people looking to preserve their teeth discretely.

Thanks to the ceramic materials, composite resin sealants are very strong. If well cared for, these sealants can protect your teeth from cavities for 5 to 10 years.

Unlike glass ionomer sealants, composite resin doesn’t release fluoride and lacks acid-base bonding properties, so they tend to wear out quickly.

In addition to composite resin and glass ionomers, your dentist may guide you through a list of other possible materials for sealants. When making a choice, you must keep in mind the following fundamental properties of a suitable sealant:

  • Durability – A good sealant should last for about 5 to 10 years.
  • Strength – The sealant should be strong enough to resist wear and damage.
  • Adhesion – The sealant should bond well with your natural teeth.
  • Staining – The sealant should resist staining. Staining can damage your teeth’s appearance.
  • Ease of Application -The sealant should be easy to apply and bond.

How are Dental Sealants Fitted?

The procedure of fitting dental sealants is easy and straightforward. It involves the following steps;

  • The dentist begins by cleaning and drying the teeth to prepare them for the sealants.
  • The dentist then places an acidic gel into the grooves on the teeth. This is meant to open up the tiny pores on the teeth’s enamel surface to makes it easier for the sealant to bond.
  • The dentist then rinses out the gel and dries the tooth. They then apply the sealant material (glass ionomer or composite resin) into the teeth’s grooves.

How to Care for Dental Sealants

Dental sealants don’t require any special care. You only have to care for them the same way you do for your natural teeth. With proper care, dental sealants can last for up to 10 years. After getting sealants:

  • Avoid hard foods as they can damage the sealants.
  • Floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Eat healthier and stay hydrated.
  • Schedule regular visits to the dentist.

Are you looking for dental sealant services? Contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners to schedule your appointment today.

617.965.1225 Schedule Now