Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: sealants

By ROBERT L. WYLER DDS, SC
May 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sealants  

"Sealants protect against 80% of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More About Sealants

Sealants are thin mini plastic fillings that act as a protective layer that coats teeth, especially molars. Dr. Robert Wyler, your Waukesha, WI,Child Exam dentist, applies the protective coat on uneven and rough chewing surfaces of molars.

Molars are the most susceptible to cavities because they are hard to reach while brushing. Bacteria readily flourishes in cracks and crevices in teeth. The bacteria creates cavities that then eat away at your child's teeth and can lead to serious dental deterioration.

The plastic coating, sealant, when applied, smoothens the surface of teeth by filling in the cracks and crevices. This makes them more resistant to decay.

Sealant Procedure

  1. The tooth or teeth to be sealed are examined and decay is removed.
  2. The tooth is cleaned and dried.
  3. Then a solution that roughens or etches the surface of the tooth is applied (this will allow the sealing material to adhere more efficiently).
  4. The tooth is then rinsed and dried again.
  5. The liquid sealant is applied on the tooth and hardens in about a minute (the dentist may use a curing light to assist in the process).

Caring for Teeth

  • Brush your teeth twice a day (hold your brush at a 40-degree angle and make sure to brush back molars)
  • Floss at least once a day before bed and make sure to floss the edges of your teeth, under your gums
  • Use fluoride-containing products, like mouthwash and toothpaste, to protect your teeth against cavities
  • Visit your Waukesha dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings

Don't let you or your child's teeth go untreated! Go see Dr. Robert Wyler, your Waukesha, WI, dentist. He provides patients with the sealants they need.

ResearchConfirmsDentalSealantsReallyWork

Have you heard about dental sealants? These preventive treatments have been available for many decades, and more and more children are taking advantage of them. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that around 30% of kids from 6 to 11 years of age have had sealants applied to their molars (back teeth). Sealants are designed to reduce the incidence of cavities by filling in or eliminating the pits or crevices found in all molars, where decay-causing bacteria can hide and your brush can't reach. But do they really work?

Now, the research is in, and the answer is clear — YES!

Two major studies, each of which reviewed the results of thousands of patients over several years, recently came to the same conclusion: Dental sealants are effective at reducing cavities, and their benefits can last for four years (or more) after application. In general, the studies showed that kids who didn't get sealants were twice, three times, or even more likely to get cavities, compared to kids treated with sealants.

Sealants themselves are protective coatings made of plastic resins or glass-like materials. They are applied in liquid form, and then hardened by a special light. When “painted on” to the chewing surface of a molar, sealants fill in the tiny crevices, or “pits and fissures,” that are found there. Uneven tooth surfaces form a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that cause tooth decay; worse yet, the bristles of a tooth brush can't usually reach them. That's what makes these areas highly susceptible to tooth decay.

Applying sealants is a quick and painless procedure that doesn't require any numbing shots or drilling. Many kids start getting sealants when the first permanent molars come in, around age 5 to 7; they may have more sealant treatments when additional molars emerge, between the ages of 11 and 14.

Sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and have only a modest cost per tooth. On the other hand, having a cavity filled generally costs substantially more, and may result in more trouble (and expense) down the line — so sealants can make sense economically, as well as preventively. This is especially true for those at high risk for tooth decay.

If you have questions about dental sealants, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children,” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”