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Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is a prevalent dental issue affecting people of all ages. While good oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing are crucial, some areas of the teeth remain vulnerable. This is where dental (fissure) sealants come in, offering a simple and effective solution to prevent cavities, especially for children. 

Our back teeth, the premolars and molars, have deep grooves and pits on their chewing surfaces. These crevices, while essential for grinding food, can trap food particles and plaque. Brushing, even with proper technique, might not always reach these areas. Plaque, a sticky film harbouring bacteria, feeds on these trapped food particles, releasing acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities. 

Dental sealants act as a protective barrier on these vulnerable areas. They are thin, plastic-like coatings applied by a dentist or hygienist to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant material flows into the grooves and pits, forming a smooth, protective layer that seals out food particles and plaque. Once applied, a special light cures the sealant, hardening it to create a long-lasting shield. 

When Should I Get Sealants? 

Dental sealants are most beneficial for children as soon as their permanent molars erupt, typically around the age of 6. The first permanent molars come in behind the baby molars, and children often lack the dexterity to thoroughly clean these new teeth. Sealants can also be applied to the permanent premolars, which erupt around ages 10-12. 

Adults can also benefit from dental sealants, especially those with deep grooves in their teeth or a history of cavities. During a dental checkup, your dentist here at Verve Dental can assess your teeth and recommend if sealants are right for you. 

Long-Term Benefits of Dental Sealants 

Dental sealants offer numerous advantages for maintaining good long-term dental health: 

  • Reduced Cavities: Studies have shown that sealants can significantly reduce the risk of cavities in children and adults. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Sealants are a preventive measure that is significantly cheaper than treating cavities. Fillings and other restorative procedures are more expensive and can involve drilling and potential discomfort. 
  • Painless Procedure: Applying dental sealants is a quick and painless procedure. The tooth surface is cleaned and dried, followed by the application of the sealant material. A special LED light is then used to harden the sealant. 
  • Durability: Dental sealants are durable and can last for several years. However, they can chip or wear down over time. Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to examine the sealants and reapply them if needed. 
  • Improved Oral Health: By preventing cavities, sealants contribute to overall better oral health. This, in turn, reduces the risk of other dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Increased Confidence: A healthy smile with cavity-free teeth can boost a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

Considerations with Dental Sealants 

Dental sealants are a safe and effective way to prevent cavities. However, there are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Not a Replacement for Brushing and Flossing: Dental sealants do not eliminate the need for proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing twice daily. These practices are still essential for removing plaque and bacteria from the entire mouth. 
  • Regular Checkups: As mentioned earlier, sealants can wear down over time. Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to assess the condition of the sealants and reapply them if necessary. 
  • Limited Lifespan: While durable, sealants are not permanent. They typically last for several years, but their effectiveness can diminish over time and will be monitored by us during your routine checkup appointments. 

Dental sealants are valuable for promoting good oral health and preventing cavities. If you have any questions about whether sealants are right for you or your child, consult with us. With proper dental care and preventive measures like sealants, you can maintain a healthy smile for years to come. Feel free to contact us at Verve Dental, or book in online to arrange a time that suits you best to discuss this further.

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Experienced Compassionate Dentist with over 30 years of experience, patients have always placed their trust in Dr Kamal Raj and team.

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Bentleigh East VIC 3165

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