Local Dentist in Albuquerque for Dental Sealants
When you think about visiting the dentist, you probably only focus on cleanings and checkups. It’s what most Albuquerque residents consider. While that is so essential, and we’re glad that you want to protect your teeth, there are other preventative treatments that you should know about.
They can protect your teeth between dental visits and can prevent cavities and other problems from arising!
At Ivory Dental, we offer sealants to every patient. It’s a great way to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay. Anyone can be at risk for a cavity, but some people are just more prone to their development than others. That’s okay, though! You’ve got a way to fight bacteria and prevent cavities!
With sealants, you prevent cavities and don’t even have to think about it. However, we understand that you might have questions or wonder how the process works. We’re here to explain it all to you!
What Are Sealants?
In a sense, sealants are just thin plastic coatings that we paint directly onto your tooth’s chewing surfaces. We primarily use them on your back teeth (premolars and molars) to prevent tooth decay.
Often, those are the hardest teeth to care for. Though you try to brush and floss, it’s usually hard to get back there and fully clean those teeth. In fact, some toothbrushes don’t fit because people have small mouths. With that, others don’t floss at all or can’t easily reach the back and ignore those teeth.
With sealants, you don’t have to worry as much. They prevent tooth decay because of the painted-on liquid. It seeps into the tooth grooves and gets hardened with a special light we use in the office. You don’t feel anything different, but you’ve got an invisible shield over your tooth enamel to help protect it!
Who Requires Sealants?
Anyone can be candidates for sealants, but teens and kids are obvious for them because they are more likely to have decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. We know that children don’t do the best job when brushing, and this gives them a bit more protection while they’re learning.
However, if you don’t have decay or fillings in your molars, you can also get a sealant to protect those areas.
In most cases, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars when those teeth initially come in. That way, the sealant protects those teeth through cavity-prone years from ages 6 to 14.
Sometimes, we apply sealants to the baby teeth. For instance, your child has very deep depressions and grooves, this is beneficial. Baby teeth are crucial to the correct spacing of permanent teeth. Therefore, they need to be protected so that they’re not lost prematurely.
Sealant application is simple and painful. It only takes a minute or so for each tooth. Here are the steps we usually take for sealants:
1. Thoroughly clean all of the teeth to be sealed.
2. Dry each tooth and use absorbent materials to keep them dry.
3. Use an acid solution to the chewing surfaces of the prepared teeth to roughen them slightly so that the sealant bonds well.
4. Rinse and dry your teeth again.
5. Paint the sealant onto the tooth enamel.
6. Use a curing light to harden it to the enamel thoroughly, speeding up the process.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Sealants?
Often sealants are an excellent choice for various reasons. However, you should be aware of the advantages and drawbacks before you decide if this treatment is right for you.
The advantages are plentiful. Though you should be brushing and flossing consistently, it’s often not enough to get to the back teeth well. Therefore, bacteria could form and eat the tooth enamel, causing decay. Sealants can protect those vulnerable areas for the back teeth. They are used to seal out plaque and food!
We can’t really think of any drawbacks of having sealants. However, your dental insurance policy might not cover this preventative procedure. Therefore, you might be required to pay out of pocket.
At Ivory Dental, we offer payment arrangements when needed. Never feel that you must put off preventative dental care because you can’t afford it. We work with you!
Recovery Information You Must Know
There really isn’t any recovery time to consider when having sealants put on your teeth. Once we harden it onto your tooth’s surface, you are finished. We let you immediately leave our office.
However, we do ask you to wait about 30 minutes before drinking or eating anything. This is just a precaution, though. If you get out to the car and forget, drinking a bit of water, it’s unlikely to damage the sealants or your teeth.
Make sure you’re flossing and brushing each day as we recommend. While you have a sealant for protection, that’s not a free-for-all to skip out on oral hygiene! Sealants are a preventative process and only one part. It’s not all you must do.
Still, when you combine sealants with regular oral care, they can prevent decay and help to keep your mouth healthy.
How Long Sealants Last
Sealants could last upwards of 10 years, continuously protecting your teeth from decay. However, sealants do chip away and wear down with time. Remember: you’re eating a lot, and the back teeth do tons of work for you!
However, we have added sealants to a child’s teeth. They continue to see us through adulthood, and those sealants are still there and intact! Therefore, we usually guarantee your sealants for a full year because they do work well!
If you’ve had sealants, we check them during your checkup. If they’re chipped or worn, we let you know. That way, you can replace them or have them removed if you want.
Why Ivory Dental Is the Right Choice for Sealants
Many dental offices don’t push for sealants, even though they are proven to be effective for teens and children. While they are underutilized, they’re a great preventative measure and can protect your teeth from cavities.
At Ivory Dental, we always recommend the sealants to parents with small kids or teens. Plus, we often ask adults if they want them because they do a lot of good and have virtually no drawbacks.
They don’t hurt, it’s a simple and quick process, and you can go back to your lifestyle immediately once you leave the office. If you’re interested in preventative services, such as sealants, please call us for an appointment.
We can schedule you for a consultation to help you choose the best course of action for your needs. That way, you have a bit more protection for the back teeth, fewer cavities, and can be happy and healthy with a beautiful smile!