Dental Sealants – Newbury Park, CA
A Simple Way to Prevent Tooth Decay
Dental caries (cavities) are one of the most common afflictions among children in the U.S. This may be because youngsters may not have mastered their oral hygiene routine, and they tend to gravitate toward sugary, decay-causing foods. What can we do to save their precious little smiles? In order to protect children from the pain and complications that come with damaged teeth, we often recommend that they receive dental sealants.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a very thin layer of plastic that a dentist or dental hygienist places on the chewing surface of the teeth at the back of the mouth (the molars and premolars). The sealant serves as a barrier between the tooth and food particles and bacteria that might otherwise settle onto it and lead to plaque and decay.
The lifespan of sealants is difficult to predict, but they typically last for several years — perhaps as long as a decade. After your child receives sealants, Dr. Chaffee will examine them at during routine checkups and let you know if any of them need to be repaired or replaced.
Who Should Receive Dental Sealants?
We often recommend dental sealants for children who already have their permanent premolars and molars; it’s best to place the sealants soon after these teeth erupt. In some cases, we may even suggest that children who still have their primary (baby teeth) receive sealants because these teeth play such an important role in the development of a child’s mouth. This preventive treatment is particularly beneficial for children who have deep grooves in their teeth that tend to trap food particles or who may lack the dexterity or self-discipline to thoroughly clean their mouth on their own.
Of course, it isn’t only children who can receive dental sealants. Adults who have deep grooves in their teeth or who simply want an extra layer of protection for their pearly whites may also be candidates for this simple procedure.
How Are Dental Sealants Placed?
The process for placing dental sealants in Newbury Park is both quick and painless. It typically goes something like this:
- We thoroughly clean the teeth that are going to receive the sealants.
- We dry each tooth, and then use cotton or another material to keep them from becoming moist while we work on them.
- A mild acid solution is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This helps roughen them up a bit so the sealant material can effectively bond to the teeth.
- We rinse and dry the teeth.
- The dentist or hygienist applies the sealant material to the teeth. It hardens, either on its own or with the help of a special curing light.
It isn’t necessary to numb any part of the mouth during the sealant procedure. After the appointment, patients can immediately resume their normal eating and drinking habits.
Learn More about Children’s Dentistry for Newbury Park
Dr. Chaffee and the rest of our team are proud to serve entire families in our community. If you would like to find out if your child could benefit from dental sealants or the other services we offer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.