What Are Dental Sealants?

Dr. Cynthia Stephenson pic
Dr. Cynthia Stephenson
Image: dentistofwalnutcreek.com

Cynthia Stephenson, DDS, is the owner of a dentistry practice in Walnut Creek, California, which she established in 2009. The clinic places a focus on preventive dental care, and Dr. Cynthia Stephenson is committed to pursuing new preventive opportunities and services in the industry.

Dental sealants are one example of preventive dentistry treatment. Used to waylay, or even avert, the decay of teeth, a sealant is an acrylic coating applied to the grooved surface of the most problematic teeth: the chewing molars.

Though brushing and flossing are essential to oral health, some teeth have trenches and edges into which food becomes lodged and can prove difficult to remove. Once coated with sealant, a tooth is effectively shielded from particles that, if overlooked, could expedite decay.

Children and adolescents are good candidates for dental sealants because their teeth are less likely to have existing decay. Once a tooth has begun to decay, or has developed a cavity, it may not be a suitable candidate for sealant application, though in some cases a sealant could be used to forestall further damage.

Once applied, a dental sealant can protect teeth for as many as ten years before reapplication is needed. It is possible for the coating to chip or wear away, however, and a dentist can watch for this erosion during checkups.

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