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August 23 2010

Benefiting from dental sealants

Prevent permanent problems in your children’s teeth, and multiple trips to the family dentist in Frisco, Texas, by simply applying dental sealants to their teeth before cavities even get started. Prevention is definitely better than cure in this regard! Good brushing is the key to good dental health, but sometimes this is not enough. 

For one, young children lack dexterity and their brushing may not be as effective in removal of caries, causing dental plaque from the surfaces of teeth. Another issue is that newly erupted back teeth (molars and premolars) have narrow and deep grooves and pits on their chewing surface. These grooves are the most common areas where cavities can start and go undetected. These fissures are an ideal breeding ground for plaque microorganisms, being hard to reach and clean, and the acids produced by plaque microbes housed in the narrow grooves are responsible for cavities. 

Pit and fissure sealants are made of special dental composite restorative material, which can easily flow within dental fissures and completely occlude them. They are recommended for young adults who have not kept up with proper dental care, or lack the ability to keep regular appointments. Your Fort Worth dental professional will evaluate an adult or child patient’s mouth to determine the shape of teeth, depth of the pit’s fissures and caries risk. Based on these, pit and fissure sealants may be of great benefit. The first molars typically appear around age 6, and the 2nd will appear by age 12, so by treating these as soon as possible you will be preventing a host of problems from ever getting off the ground. 

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Getting pit and fissure sealants is similar to getting a composite filling, but no tooth structure is removed. Your dentist will clean the tooth, etch the enamel with a gel and paint the sealant on to the fissure, which is then light cured. The entire process is quick, painless, simple, and relatively inexpensive.

You may choose between a clear, tooth-colored or a ‘tinted’ sealant. The tint makes it evident when the sealant has worn off and needs replacement, a property that works well in a child’s mouth.  

While a sealant can last up to five to ten years, it needs to be checked regularly and replaced when worn off. Pit and fissure sealants are a simple measure that your DDS in West Chester, Pennsylvania can include in a preventive regime to help grow healthy sound teeth, saving the time and expense more extensive dental treatment incurs.