Dental Sealants in Portland, OR
Dental sealants are a type of dental treatment that consists of a material made of plastic being applied to one or more teeth. The purpose of this treatment is to prevent forms of tooth decay such as cavities.
Tooth decay on the smooth surfaces of the teeth in the United States has decreased since the 1980s. This is mainly due to the public having better dental hygiene as a whole. However, there are many fissures and pits on the biting surfaces of the premolars and molars in the back of the mouth. This makes certain parts of these teeth hard to clean. As a way to help remedy this, dental sealants began to be researched in the 1960s. The first dental sealants were made available to the public and received approval by the FDA in the early 1970s.
When a sealant is used to paint over fissures and pits on the back teeth, it is able to block any carbohydrate such as sugar from being turned into acid by plaque bacteria that may be in the area. Sealants also prevent food from becoming trapped. Fissure sealants are able to be forced deeper into the fissures and pits by using pressure, eliminating the possibility of any food going into those areas in the future.
When a patient has a high risk of developing cavities, this is an indication that the use of dental sealants may be necessary. This includes patients that have a history of enamel defects, early signs of decay, cavities, poor plaque control and deep retentive fissure and pits.
These are thin plastic coatings. The grooves that are located on the back teeth’s chewing surfaces are where the sealants are applied. This is done to prevent the teeth from decaying. The majority of tooth decay that occurs in teens and children is found on these surfaces. Food particles and germs are prevented from entering the grooves on the chewing surfaces. This keeps the teeth protected.
The teeth that are most benefitted from the use of sealants are permanent molars. These molars usually grow in when a person is 12 years of age. It is a good idea to apply the sealant to the teeth immediantly after they have grown in. This will prevent any chance of the tooth decaying.
Removing the structure of the tooth or drilling are not needed for the application of sealants. It is an easy and short process. The tooth is cleaned, then the chewing surface has a special gel placed on it for several seconds. After the gel has been washed off and the tooth is dry, the sealant is applied to the tooth. A light is sometimes used by the dentist to allow the sealant to harden faster. A protective shield is formed by the sealant in roughly one minute. Sealants are only visible from close distances. They can be slightly tinted, white or clear. When a child smiles or talks, they usually can not be seen. Sealants can last anywhere from five to ten years. They should be checked by a dentist on a regular basis to make sure they have not become dislodged.
Call our office today at: (503) 563-3655 or visit our office in downtown Portland located at: 610 SW Alder Street, Ste 1105, Portland, OR 97205.