Some teenagers are prone to developing acne, others not so much. Some children’s teeth allow decay to invade as if they never brushed their teeth. Others have very strong enamel and rarely have a cavity. It’s luck of the draw.
In the case of that decay, it could also be luck of not having deep fissures in your molars.
Some people develop deep creases, fissures, gaps, whatever you want to call them, in their molars. No matter how diligent they brush, they can’t get down into the bottom of these pits, so they can’t get at the bacteria that are setting up house there. The result is decay and an inevitable filling. People with deep crevasses in their molars may develop cavities in every molar, and it may not really even be their fault.
But at Kalil & Kress, we provide our young patients with a mighty molar defender — dental sealants. Dental sealants are made from composite resin that is placed into the fissures in the molars and is cured/hardened. The sealant does as its name implies — it seals the molar’s deep recesses from bacteria and subsequent decay.
At Kalil & Kress we apply sealants to the molars of the majority of our young patients.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant is cured with a special light and fills in the depressions and grooves in the molars, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.
Who should get sealants?
We recommend that children and teenagers with even moderate grooves in their teeth should get sealants. Why? This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Although it’s rare, we also have some adults who request sealants on their molars. Why is this rare? Because those molars cannot have an existing filling, and if they’ve made it this long without decay they probably don’t need sealants.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants is simple.
- First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
- This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
- Sealant is painted onto the tooth and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during youth.
Sealants are the epitome of preventive dental care. Next time you’re bringing your child in to see us at Kalil & Kress, it may be time for sealants. Now you know. Call us to make your appointment, (603) 880-7004.