For children and teenagers particularly, one simple way that they can protect their teeth is by having a treatment known as a dental sealant. It’s a painless process that’s both easy and quick, yet it has the ability to make a huge difference in the ongoing fight against tooth decay.
In essence, a dental sealant is a clear coating that’s painted onto the surface of the teeth. Once in place it acts as a long-lasting barrier by preventing plaque from resting in the tiny pockets and fissures contained on the surface of the teeth. Normally sealants are applied to the rear molars and premolars where plaque commonly sits. Although adults can enjoy the benefits of dental sealants as well, it’s best applied to children’s teeth because the likelihood of developing crevices and pits on the surface of the teeth starts early in life.
So how can dental sealants help?
Because sealants shut out any food particles, plaque, or bacteria, they reduce the need for dental fillings. In addition it’s applied without having to drill into the tooth enamel of dentine so it’s a procedure that doesn’t compromise the tooth in any way. Finally once applied it’s clear, harmless, and invisible.
If you want to know just how effective dental sealants really are then ask the American Dental Association ….
‘In a recent survey on sealant placement in pre-teens, it’s thought that the application of dental sealants had reduced the risk of cavities by as much as 86% in the first year alone.’
The fact is that despite even the best cleaning efforts tooth bristles aren’t designed to reach small pits or grooves on the surface of the teeth and if left cavities can and will form.
How long does the sealant last?
In most pediatric dental patients it’s thought that dental sealants can continue giving protection for up to 10 years, so it really is an effective tool in the fight against tooth decay.
What will my child experience?
As already stated the process of undergoing dental sealant treatment is both quick and pain-free. Firstly the tooth is cleaned with a mild antiseptic solution. Next Dr Akinwande will apply the sealant to the surface of the tooth. It hardens immediately acting as a barrier right away. The whole process takes around 15 minutes to complete. Finally in addition regular visits to our dental office are necessary to ensure the condition of the sealant is good and that it’s doing it’s job. In between visits children are advised to eat a normal regular balanced diet low in sugar and brush and floss their teeth regularly.
If you’d like to make an appointment for your child to undergo dental sealant treatment, or you’d like to find out more about it, then contact Dr Akinwande and the team on (314) 469 6429 and book an appointment today.