A sealant is an extremely thin coating of plastic that is applied over the surface of a patient’s teeth. Sealants smooth out the grooves in teeth, making the surface of the teeth easier to clean. Sealants are often a good way to protect teeth from decay. Although they are typically recommended for young patients, adults can also benefit from sealants, particularly those people who have deep grooves in the surfaces of their teeth.
Sealants are commonly recommended for three categories of patients:
- Children who are cavity-prone
- Young patients between the ages of 6 and 16
- Adult patients with deep grooves in their teeth
The Procedure Involved with Sealants
Applying sealants to a patient’s teeth is a relatively simple and quick procedure. The first step involves making sure the patient’s teeth are completely cleaned. After that, a special solution is applied to the tooth surface that will help adhere the sealant to the tooth. The sealant material is then applied to the teeth, and hardened with a special curing light.
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Important Information about Sealants
Sealants are used primarily for two reasons: to smooth out the surface of a patient’s teeth, making them easier to clean; and to guard against tooth decay in cavity-prone patients. Sealants normally last for several years, but it is necessary for your dentist to examine the sealant on a regular basis to check for wear or chipping.
As is the case with virtually every dental appliance or procedure, sealants may not be right for everyone. For more information about sealants, and to find out whether they are the right choice for you or someone in your family, schedule an appointment to meet with your dentist.
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