When your teeth pass this examination, the dentist will apply an acid solution to your teeth. This roughens the surface and allows the sealant material to bond better with your teeth.
If you’ve ever used epoxy to connect two materials together, you’ll understand that they bond best when the joining surfaces of those materials are rough. It’s the same logic, and it doesn’t hurt your teeth.
Your dentist then paints on the sealant. Depending on the type of sealant used, he may have to use a UV light to cure it onto your teeth.
Dental sealants can last for a number of years under normal chewing pressure before they need to be reapplied. If you have other problems that exist like the grinding of your teeth, then this can lessen the amount of time that your dental sealants last. However, like most things that are within the realm of dentistry, you can make them last longer by taking care of your teeth with good dental hygiene.
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
The surfaces of molars are known to have tiny fissures on them. Particles from food can get trapped in them, but the main “resident” that likes to sit in these fissures is the same type of bacteria that causes plaque on your teeth. Even if they don’t choose to reside in those fissures, their byproduct can affect them until they cause a cavity.
Dental sealants are meant to keep all of this away from the part of your teeth that gets some of the most exhaustive work in your entire mouth. They’re put in place to make sure that decay can’t affect these parts of your teeth.
To put it simply, they’re a type of preventative treatment to stop cavities before they form. If you’re at particular risk for a cavities from fissures in your teeth, then your dentist may suggest that you have sealants put on your teeth.
In case you’re wondering, dental sealants have been shown to be extremely effective in preventing tooth decay on chewing surfaces of your teeth. This is part of the reason that insurance benefits for sealant procedures have increased in recent years.
This has happened because, compared to the other types of procedures for repairing decay present in teeth already like fillings and crowns, dental sealants are a much cheaper procedure.