Dental sealants in Lancaster Texas are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.
What are dental sealants in Lancaster Texas?
Dental sealants in Lancaster Texas are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay.
Why are dental sealants placed on teeth in Lancaster Texas?
The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — “fissures” — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep, are difficult to clean, and can be narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, dental sealants in Lancaster Texas provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.
When are dental sealants placed in Lancaster Texas?
The first dental sealant to be placed is usually on the fissure of the first permanent molar tooth, once the chewing surface of the tooth has completely erupted beyond the gum. This tooth grows in behind the baby teeth. If the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of these teeth are sealed, the dental sealant will help to protect the tooth. Except for the wisdom teeth, which come through much later, the molars and premolars continue to erupt until eleven-thirteen years of age and the chewing surfaces of these teeth can be sealed after they have erupted beyond the gum.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
In some cases, dental sealants in Lancaster Texas may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep these teeth healthy, so they are not lost too early.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealant is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for your dentist in Lancaster Texas or hygienist to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. The application steps are as follows:
- First, the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
- The teeth are then rinsed and dried.
- A sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can replace sealants as necessary.
Are dental sealants in Lancaster Texas only placed on the chewing surface of molar and premolar permanent teeth?
Dental sealants in Lancaster Texas are usually placed on the chewing surfaces of these teeth because these are the areas and teeth that typically have deep fissures. Dental sealants in Lancaster Texas are sometimes also used on other permanent teeth if they have grooves or pits, to help protect these surfaces. In some children, the molars in the primary dentition (baby teeth) also have grooves that could benefit from dental sealants in Lancaster Texas, and in this situation, your dentist or hygienist may recommend dental sealants in Lancaster Texas on the chewing surfaces of these primary teeth.
Can dental sealants in Lancaster Texas be placed on the teeth of adults?
Yes — while less common, dental sealants in Lancaster Texas are sometimes placed in adults at risk for caries, on deep grooves and fissures that do not already have fillings or dental sealants in Lancaster Texas.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Sealants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of sealants but usually only for patients younger than 18. Check with your dental insurance carrier to determine if sealants are covered under your plan.
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