AZ Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
At AZ Family Dentistry, prevention is one of our top priorities. In addition to regular cleanings and check-ups, we can also recommend a number of services and products to help you keep your teeth healthy and avoid a number of common dental problems, including decay.
One of the services we offer that is highly effective in helping avoid cavities in both kids and adults is dental sealants. Thanks to sealants, many of our patients have fewer cavities. By opting for sealants now, you may be saving yourself the future discomfort and costs of treating decay.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin layer of resin that is applied in the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of molars. Once the sealant is cured, you can expect it to remain in place for several years. The sealants are white and opaque, making them difficult to see – even up close.
The sealant acts as a barrier between cavity-causing agents and the grooves of your teeth and is a useful step towards keeping your teeth cavity-free.
When Are Sealants Used?
Sealants are often used in children when the permanent molars make their appearance. They can also be used in anyone whose teeth have deep grooves or other natural nooks and crannies on the chewing surfaces of their teeth that are difficult to keep clean. We may also recommend sealants if you are particularly prone to cavities on the chewing surfaces of your teeth for any other reason.
How Are Sealants Placed?
The process to place sealants is simple, quick, and painless – no shots required! Sealants are typically placed on the back teeth since that is the most common location for cavities and decay to occur. The first permanent molars usually erupt around the age of 6, so this is a good time to start talking about sealants.
We’ll begin the process by performing a thorough cleaning to make sure that the teeth being treated are completely free from plaque and tartar. The sealant itself is “painted” on in a thin layer, and then a special light is used to cure the sealant so that it hardens and remains in place. Once cured, you can expect the sealant to last for a few years. At each check-up, we’ll check the condition of your sealants and let you know if replacing your sealants is necessary.
Sealants do not replace the need for good oral hygiene habits. While the chewing surfaces of your teeth will be protected, you still need to brush and floss as directed by Dr. Narra to prevent cavities from developing in other areas of the mouth and to avoid gum disease. We can also discuss fluoride’s role in preventing cavities.