Brushing and flossing your teeth must be done regularly if you want to keep them healthy. So is getting professional teeth cleaning every 6 months. But these things may not be enough. Some teeth are more susceptible to damage than others, so they will need additional protection. For teeth with deep fissures, we offer dental sealants here at Westlake Dental Center.
Why Do You Need Dental Sealants?
You’ll need dental sealants because some of your teeth have very deep fissures on the chewing surfaces. These fissures can be quite deep and they provide a great hiding place for germs which in turn can damage your teeth. The opening can be so small that your toothbrush bristles can’t penetrate it, which makes it extremely difficult to clean these areas even with regular brushing.
The dental sealant is a plastic coating we apply to these types of teeth so that harmful bacteria can’t go inside the fissures. It’s an additional protective measure for teeth with deep grooves.
Usually, these are the back teeth, but sometimes you may have other teeth that have grooves as well. We apply the sealants to all of them, and they’re designed to last for quite a while.
If you bring your children to our dental clinic, we will check theit teeth to see if they need sealants. Generally, we apply the first sealant once the permanent back teeth will come out. When the chewing surface of the back tooth comes out of the gum line completely, we will apply dental sealant to it. These permanent teeth usually come out when your children are 11 - 13 years old and we will apply the sealant to every back tooth.
In some cases, we also apply sealant to baby teeth. Adult patients may also need dental sealant as well. We always check the condition of the original sealant to see if they need reinforcement, and we can apply a new sealant if necessary. Sometimes we also apply the sealant to other teeth that have these deep grooves as long as they don’t have fillings yet.
Applying the Sealant
When you come to our clinic, part of our job is to see to the condition of your sealants and to check if you need new ones. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to apply the sealant for each tooth. Don’t worry, it’s also a painless procedure.
We will start the dental sealant application by preparing the tooth first. We will remove all the bits of food from the grooves and we will also remove any plaque (layer of bacteria) on the tooth. Then we will polish the tooth and then wait for it to dry. Then our dentist will etch the surface of your tooth to accommodate the extra protective coating.
After rinsing off the etching material and the tooth has dried, we will use a brush to apply the dental sealant on the grooves of the tooth. We will then bond the dental sealant to the surface of your tooth by shining a special light on the sealant for a few seconds.
When that’s done, we will do a final check on the condition of the dental sealant. We will also make sure that you have proper contact between the upper and lower surfaces of your teeth. The sealant will harden and you will then be able to chew with your teeth once more.
You can get the contact info for our clinics in Ingleside, Waukegan, Lake County, and in other IL cities right here on our website. Set up an appointment with us so we can determine if dental sealants are necessary. If you have kids, we will also make sure they get dental sealants to keep their teeth healthy.