Dental Sealants in North Vancouver
Dental sealants are a means of protecting the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They are most commonly used on permanent molars, serving to seal out plaque and food particles and help prevent cavities. They are available in Northern Vancouver at Pier Dental Centre.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of teeth to protect against tooth decay. It is not a replacement for brushing but does help protect areas that are frequently missed or hard to reach with a brush, penetrating between teeth and into pits and fissures.
Dental Sealant Procedure
Applying the sealants is a simple procedure that is faster than a fluoride treatment and equally painless. The steps of the application are:
- Cleaning the teeth thoroughly.
- Drying each tooth. Cotton or another absorbent material may be put around the tooth to keep it dry.
- An acid solution is applied to chewing surfaces. This makes the tooth rougher, allowing for a better bond.
- Teeth are rinsed and dried.
- Sealant is then “painted” onto each tooth and into the pits and fissures. It bonds directly to the enamel and hardens, sometimes with the aid of a curing light.
Dental Sealants for Adults
Dental sealants are commonly offered to children, though they are also beneficial to adults. For those who continue to suffer tooth decay and develop cavities, the use of dental sealants on permanent molars and other chewing surfaces can make a significant difference in protecting against bacteria, plaque, and food particles.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants have been shown to last for nearly a decade given the proper care, which means brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste just as you would do without sealants. When newly applied, avoid hard and sticky foods that can break or chip your sealants.
Dental Sealants Controversy
Dental sealants are an excellent means of protecting teeth, particularly for younger patients. They have been shown to reduce the incidence of cavities in the molars of 6-year-olds by almost 80 percent right away and up to 60 percent over the next four years or more. Despite this, they are not without some controversy.
About 40% of kids from higher-income homes, and only 20% of those at poverty level receive the recommended sealants that could help spare them from cavities and tooth decay. Among dentists, it was found that fewer than 40% were following the recommendations of the American Dental Association.
Some dentists have expressed concern over early tooth decay that has not yet produced a cavity, believing that applying sealant in such a case would trap plaque on the tooth, creating a situation that would promote further tooth decay.
The debate over sealants has continued for more than 50 years, but the official stance of the American Dental Association is that the benefits of sealants outweigh any potential negative issues.
If you have questions or concerns about dental sealants in North Vancouver, feel free to contact us so that we can provide the information you need.