Most people have at least one cavity in their teeth, and this is highly likely to develop in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The reason for this is that the surfaces of the molars and premolars are covered with lots of tiny fissures and grooves to help grind up food more effectively. However these fissures can be very difficult to clean thoroughly and it’s all too easy for plaque bacteria and food particles to get trapped in these areas, eventually causing cavities to develop.
Dental sealants can help protect these areas and are something Dr David Brown may recommends for younger patients as they are most effective when applied to the newly erupted permanent teeth of children and teenagers. Although they are most commonly used in younger patients there’s nothing to stop them being applied to adult teeth provided they are cavity free. The sealants are made out of a thin plastic like substance that doesn’t affect the way the teeth bite together. Once it’s applied it’s virtually invisible, or it may appear slightly white very close-up.
The Process for Applying Dental Sealants
The process for applying dental sealants is very quick and straightforward, and should only need one visit to our Leeds surgery. It doesn’t require the tooth to be modified in any way, and no tooth structure is removed. First of all the teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and dried before a special gel is applied which slightly roughens the tooth surface, increasing the bond between the tooth and the dental sealant. The next step is to remove the gel, dry the teeth once more and apply the dental sealant. The sealant doesn’t take very long to harden, and only covers the fissures and grooves in the teeth, and that’s really it. There’s no need to do anything special to look after the dental sealants as dentist Leeds will be checked at every visit to Leeds City Dentalcare. They generally need reapplying every 5 to 10 years.
Preventative dental care at Leeds City Dentalcare
Dental sealants are a great part of a preventative dental care plan as they can prevent cavities from forming in the teeth, lessening the need for any fillings. The problem with fillings is that they do need replacing periodically, and may require a little more tooth structure to be removed each time. Dental sealants are a non-invasive way of protecting the chewing surfaces of the teeth. In spite of this it still necessary to have a great oral hygiene routine, and to brush twice a day and floss once a day.
While dental sealants are generally used on healthy teeth that are free from any signs of disease, it can sometimes be possible to use them on teeth that are only showing very early signs of dental caries but which don’t yet have any cavities. It’s thought that sealing in the bacteria with dental sealants can greatly slow down the progression of tooth decay. This is only possible in a small minority of cases, and is something we’ll discuss with you when you visit our Leeds surgery.
Dental sealants have been successfully used for decades, so they’ve been extensively studied for their effectiveness, and the technology used is extremely safe.