According to research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants have proved to be effective at preventing cavities by up to 80%, in the first 2 years after application. After four years they still remain effective but only offer up to 50% protection. They continue to provide some degree of protection for up to 10 years. Your dentist may also recommend reapplication after a certain period to improve their effectiveness.
Dental sealants for adults help prevent cavities by smoothening the surface of the tooth, especially across the pits and fissures. This makes it easy to clean the teeth, especially in those hard-to-reach areas. They are based on a simple yet innovative concept to create a barrier that protects the enamel from destructive acids and bacteria in the mouth that contribute to tooth decay and cavities. The first commercial sealant was introduced in the mid-1960s by Drs. Buonocore and E.I. Cueto. The idea, however, has existed since the early 1900s and it has over time evolved in terms of the application procedure and the sealant materials used.
The ages 6 to 14 are considered cavity-prone years and patients within these age limits are the greatest beneficiaries of sealants. The procedure is usually done on the permanent molars and premolars as soon as they fully erupt. There are however cases when sealants may be recommended before the age of 6 if the dentist sees the need to protect the primary teeth. This is usually to prevent premature loss of the milk teeth which hold the correct spacing for incoming permanent teeth. Dental sealants for adults are also available for patients that are at high risk of cavities.
Dental sealant describes a thin plastic coating that is applied on the chewing surface of teeth to shield them from decay and cavities. The application process is simple and painless and can be done by a regular dentist or a hygienist. It only takes a couple of minutes and involves the following steps:
Sealants completely shield the surface of a tooth, including the tiny grooves and crevices found in molars and premolars. This provides round-the-clock protection against cavity-causing bacteria. The teeth’s surface does not get into contact with plaque and food build-up that contribute to cavities. Additionally, maintaining and caring for sealants is easy and simple. Daily brushing and flossing are all taken in addition to observing all your dental visits. During your visit to our dental office in Ontario, CA, you will also be educated on any additional care steps you need to observe to keep off decay and cavities.
Another good reason to consider sealants is that the application is painless and the results last quite a while. In the long run, it is more affordable to invest in preventive treatment rather than wait to treat a cavity later on. Also considering that most kids do not take it well sitting through dental procedures, especially when they are long and invasive, getting sealants ensures you do not have to worry about this.