Have you ever noticed a dark spot on the top of one of your back teeth? Sometimes even the best ‘brushers’ will get a cavity in a pit or groove on the top of one or more of their teeth. This is because these pits and deep grooves are smaller than tooth brush bristles and patients can’t always clean them effectively.
Drs. Ousborne and Keller use sealants as a highly effective method for preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth. Dental sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored resin “coating” is applied to the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach making them ideal for children, as well as adults who have difficulty brushing .
Drs. Ousborne and Keller will utilize the DIAGNOdent to verify that no decay is present in the occlusal grooves prior to sealant placement .
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to apply to each tooth. First the tooth is cleaned and the grooves are flushed with an antibacterial solution. The tooth is then rinsed, dried and isolated. The enamel in the area where the sealant is to be applied is etched to ensure adhesion. The etched surface is rinsed and the sealant is flowed or ‘painted’ on and a curing light is used to harden the material. The sealed surface is then checked for proper occlusion.
Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last years. Occasionally a reapplication is necessary, depending on a patient’s specific occlusion and overall oral conditions.
As a preventative treatment, sealants are a fraction of the cost of more extensive restorations, such as a fillings or crowns, and often prove to be a great investment in maintaining your oral health.