Dental Sealant has a few mysteries and some wonderful benefits. In this article, the Dentistry for Children blog de-mystifies the dental procedure known as a sealant.
We have discovered that when we unlock the mysteries of a procedure, patients and parents gain confidence and relax. So let’s destroy the mysteries about dental sealant. Additionally, discover the amazing benefits brought by the procedure.
Five Mysteries Solved by Dental Sealant
In this week’s article, we are investigating five of the most interesting features of dental sealants. We like to call them mysteries. You see, sometimes it can make you feel like an inside investigator to know the solutions behind a mystery. We’ll prove the mysteries of dental sealant are only inexplicable until you examine the facts.
Sealant Mystery Number 1—What Is A Dental Sealant?
Defining this mysterious procedure is easy. To put it simply, “Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay.”
- The basic truth is that we can avoid about 80 to 100 percent of the cavities in your child’s possible future.
- That is the big benefit of a dental sealant.
- One of the biggest mysteries we see solved every day in this regard. Parents become a little dazed at how easily and reasonably dental sealants can protect their child’s teeth.
How Sealants Work: The Second Mystery Behind This Procedure
A lot of our patients are fans of science and science fiction. So—let’s put this procedure in perspective. Imagine you are looking through a telescope at a dead planet.
You see a landscape of miniscule crevices, pits, and fissures. There are rivulets and cliffs and escarpments. What a landscape! Now, you would see much the same thing if you could see the surfaces of your child’s teeth through a high-powered microscope.
Revealing the Mystery within the Landscape of Your Child’s Teeth
Tiny grooves, indentions, and scratches on the surface of your child’s teeth provide perfect hiding places. The hiding places are not for aliens or Martians, as in the case of the mountainous dead planet above.
However, in the landscape of the teeth, we see many hide-outs for germs and bits of food to linger. Add to this the mysterious fact that many young children do not always brush well. This means, they do not brush hard enough, or long enough to remove germs, biofilm, and plaque—or even miniscule bits of food.
Dr. Mary Hayes is a pediatric dentistry spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. She stated that very young children, ages 2,3, and 4, do “…not have the fine motor skills to clean their teeth. They can put the toothbrush into their mouth.” However, they “don’t clean off the plaque.”
Rising Need for Dental Sealant: Solving the Third Mystery
Thus improper brushing can cause decay, cavities, infection, and pain. It’s no one’s fault, but modern life and lack-luster brushing have consequences. Then, cavities lead to drilling, filling, crowning, infections, and root canals, and more severe dental expenses as the years continue.
Here’s why cavities happen, even if you brush well:
According to the American Academy of General Dentistry, “Surveys show the majority of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because food particles and bacteria are not easily cleaned out.”
Finding A Solution in the Maze of Fissures and Pits: the Magic of the Sealant Solution
However, Dr. King can provide a good dental sealant procedure to protect new teeth. He will do it as soon as the teeth erupt. He provides preventative measures in impossibly deep fissures and pits where tiny brushes in tiny hands might fail.
You might be wondering why we concentrate on the back teeth. The simple solution to this mystery is that dentists know that “most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces.”
Who Needs a Dental Sealant Procedure?
This is not a mystery if you have been following the clues in this article. If a pediatric dentist notices minute chips, pits, or crevasses in your child’s teeth, then dental sealants can prevent cavities.
Likewise, the 6- year and 12-year molars are considered the most vulnerable to decay. It is fortunate that they are also the teeth that statistically receive the best benefits from treatment with sealant.
Dr. Troy King Solves the Fourth Dental Sealant Mystery: How It’s Done
We have printed this procedure in previous blogs, but it is worthy of repetition. A dental sealant can be tricky, like any mysterious process. Only an expert should attempt it. However, the process for applying a sealant to your child’s teeth is not painful or surgical.
- No drilling is involved and no injections, so the process is actually quite a pleasant procedure for your child.
- Pediatric dentists who know how to solve the mysteries of dental sealants realize that the sealant must be must scrupulously applied with accurate technique. If it is applied in a sloppy manner, it won’t add proper protection.
Here at Children’s Dentistry, Dr. King is gentle and patient. He explains the ABCs of every step he takes:
- Next, he meticulously makes certain the surface of the tooth is sparkling clean.
- He gently dries each tooth and then tucks lots of fine cotton padding around it. Maintaining the dryness of the tooth is critical.
- He puts a special solution on the tooth that prepares and microscopically roughens the surface so the sealant will stick.
- Then he rinses and dries the tooth again. Once more he surrounds it with fresh cotton and keeps it dry.
- Finally, with steady precision, and the utmost care, Dr. King artfully applies the liquid dental sealant to the tiny fissures, dips, and pits that mark the surface of the tooth.
Within moments it hardens to a hard protective surface. (The bond seems like magic, but it’s science!)
Terrific Take-Aways from Your Dental Sealant Mysteries
Your child will probably be completely unimpressed. There is no pain or down-time after the procedure.
In fact, the most he or she might feel with his or her tongue is a slightly different texture.
- Remarkably, this treatment might remain effective for 5 to 10 years, although it must be monitored and maintained at your child’s regular dental check-ups.
- The sealant can be “repaired,” if Dr. King observes new pits or crevices during a regular dental exam and finds areas in need of a touch-up.
Dental Sealant: Proven Protection Against Cavities
Over his years of experience with children, Dr. King and his staff have come to believe in the sealant as a part of a tried-and-true treatment to prevent decay.
Years of research have reinforced our opinion.
Mark Ritz, DDS, MAGD, and a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, stated, “Studies show that many children are exceptional candidates for dental sealants.”
He added, “Parents should consider sealants as a preventive measure in their child’s oral health and discuss this option with their dentist.”
Beyond the Biggest Mystery—When Sealant is not Enough:
Remember, treatment with a sealant is actually only part of your child’s overall dental health protection plan.
Other elements, less mysterious, but equally important to your child’s dental health, include some common-sense practices: good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, Fluoride treatments. Likewise, we would be remiss if we did not remind you to maintain regular dental check-ups here at Children’s Dentistry. We are your child’s dental home in Orlando and Central Florida.
Thank you for reading this week’s Dentistry for Children blog on dental sealant. And please revisit us. We promise to bring you more solutions to the mysteries of a life-long healthy mouth.