Sealants, or "dental sealants" are one of our favorite preventative treatments at Nicholas W. Feldman, DDS, MBA in Anchorage, AK. Sealants are a plastic coating which we can apply to the chewing surface of molars, premolars, or any deep grooves found on teeth, which then help prevent tooth decay. Teeth have deep, natural grooves or fissures that are often difficult to reach. Food particles, plaque, and decay may get into these grooves and cause problems, but sealants effectively seal off those grooves and provide you with a smooth cleaning surface for brushing and flossing. Even our patients with stellar oral hygiene habits may still miss something, and sealants are a great guarantee against that.
Why should I get Sealants?
The deep grooves and fissures in your teeth are incredibly narrow and hard to clean. These fissures occur mostly on your back teeth, molars, and premolars, which are responsible for grinding and chewing food. In this process, tiny particles of food can become lodged in the deep grooves of your teeth.
The fissures can be incredibly narrow, even smaller than a single bristle on your toothbrush, so it's easy for food particles and plaque to accumulate there which leaves you vulnerable to cavities and other dental issues. Sealants are a cost-effective, quick, and elegant preventative measure that helps keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Who Should Get Sealants?
We typically recommend sealants for children, to protect them from tooth decay as they grow. Once a child's permanent teeth have come in and are erupted completely above the gumline, we can apply the sealant. For some kids, their molars may not fully come in until the age of thirteen, so some sealants may have to be applied at different times. The best time to apply the sealant is just after the tooth has fully erupted since it will protect the natural tooth at it's most pristine. We may recommend sealants for each molar to protect the biting surface.
Our adult patients may also benefit from sealants. If you have a high risk of cavities or have deep grooves in your teeth that haven't already been treated with fillings or sealants, we will likely recommend them.
Your Sealant Appointment
Your appointment to receive sealants will likely be relatively quick and painless. Usually, applying a sealant to one tooth only takes a few minutes with one of our experts. Depending on how many teeth you wish to have sealed, the procedure may only take one appointment. During the treatment, your tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and dried before a special solution is applied.
The solution is acidic and creates a better surface area for the sealant to attach to your tooth. Once the tooth has been dried a second time, we can apply the sealant. After the sealant is hardened, it will be unnoticeable in your smile, and discreetly keep the biting surface of your teeth impervious to debris and decay.
Give us a call today at (907) 802-4519 to schedule your regular dental exam and inquire about sealants.