At Value Dental Centers Chandler, we are committed to your family’s long term oral health. Though we offer a variety of restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures, our first goal is to prevent dental problems from occurring altogether. For this reason, we proudly offer dental sealants at our Chandler, AZ office. Sealants are an outstanding treatment for children, although adults can sometimes benefit from them, as well. The liquid plastic coating will harden over your child’s molars, creating a barrier that will keep bacteria and acid from eroding the dental enamel. We believe sealants are so important that we even offer a Free Sealants Program for children under age 11.
Candidates for Dental Sealants?
As state above, our pediatric dentists typically provide sealants for pediatric patients. This treatment is usually appropriate once the permanent molars start to come in. Nevertheless, in some cases, adults and younger children may benefit from sealants. For example, if they have very deep grooves on their back teeth, the treatment can greatly reduce their risk for dental decay.
Why Are Dental Sealants So Important?
Teeth, particularly molars, have deep grooves in their chewing surfaces. Some of these grooves may be smaller than a single toothbrush bristle, so they can be quite difficult to keep clean. Bacteria and food can easily accumulate in these areas, producing acids that will erode enamel and create cavities. Sealants will fill in the crevices so that bacteria cannot get inside. Thus, sealants can significantly reduce the risk of dental decay.
This treatment is especially important for children because cavities are recurring. Those who suffer from tooth decay as children are far more likely to have chronic decay as adults. By providing sealants to younger patients, our pediatric dentists can protect their lifelong dental health.
What Happens When We Place Dental Sealants?
Before placing sealants, our hygienist will perform a thorough dental cleaning. Then we will isolate the tooth by placing a rubber dam around it. Next, we will apply a mild chemical solution. The chemical will lightly roughen the dental enamel, creating microscopic fissures. This step will not cause discomfort, weaken the tooth, or affect its appearance. Rather, it will increase the surface area so that the sealant can better attach to the tooth. Your practitioner will then apply the liquid plastic coating, making sure that it fully covers the deep grooves. Finally, he or she will use a curing light to harden the material. The sealant will be clear or white once it dries, so it will be virtually undetectable. Your practitioner can treat one tooth at time or multiple teeth at once. The entire process will take about five to six minutes per tooth.
What to Expect after Your Child Receives Sealants
Sealants have been widely used since the 1970s, and they have proven very effective in preventing dental decay. Of course, even after we place sealants, it is still important for your child to maintain proper dental hygiene. Make sure that he or she brushes and flosses daily. In addition, do not neglect your regular cleanings and checkups. These visits will further reduce the risk of cavities. Plus, we can monitor your child’s sealants, touching them up if needed. In most cases, however, this will not be necessary since sealants typically last for many years.