What is the treatment with dental sealants?
The dental sealant is a preventive treatment that can collaborate in avoiding the formation of carious lesions, especially in those people who have a high risk of suffering from them -such as, for example, children.
What is a dental sealant?
Its use is restricted to posterior pieces, generally to the molars and premolars, and they are always placed on the chewing surfaces of the same.
And it is that these posterior pieces meet two conditions that make them more prone to dental caries:
- On the one hand, its rough surface is full of fissures which it is easier for bacterial plaque to accumulate.
Dental sealant is inserted into these small cavities in the tooth. Its function is to form, in this way, a protective shield against the destructive action of accumulations of bacterial plaque on tooth enamel.
In which cases are dental sealants placed?
This preventive treatment is aimed at people at high risk of suffering from dental caries. Therefore, children and adolescents are ideal candidates for placement.
However, they can also be used in adults who do not have previous carious lesions.
Dental sealants can be used from 3 or 4 years of age to protect primary molars from caries. These are especially common in the case of baby teeth that have deep grooves.
And it is that achieving the stability of the temporary pieces is vital when it comes to ensuring the correct eruption of the final pieces.
But in addition, the placement of sealants is also common in children and adolescents who have already seen their permanent molars and premolars erupt and are at risk of suffering from dental caries. That is, those aged between 6 and 14 years.
When is its use contraindicated?
Dental sealants are used on the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth -molars and premolars; however, their placement is not indicated in interdental spaces.
To eliminate the accumulation of bacteria in these areas, we must resort to the traditional use of dental floss or, failing that, the oral irrigator or Waterpik.
Their children during this process, assisting them when incorporating these elements of oral hygiene into their day-to-day life.
But, in addition, it must be taken into account that sealants are a preventive treatment. Therefore, its placement is also not indicated if there is already a cavity in the tooth.
What are the benefits of sealing teeth?
Therefore, dental sealants act as a barrier against the accumulation of bacterial plaque.
Its placement allows protecting the most vulnerable areas from the action of bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. In this way, they manage to prevent the formation of carious lesions and improve dental stability.
In addition, they avoid having to carry out more invasive procedures such as, for example, filings -or fillings- or, in the case of more advanced caries lesions, pulpotomies, or root canal treatments endodontics.
To understand these benefits in statistical data, various studies have confirmed that their placement reduces caries in more than 85% of cases during the first year.
How is a dental sealant placed?
The first step when determining the placement of a dental sealant is to carry out a previous study of the patient’s mouth.
If it presents a high risk of suffering from caries and if, therefore, this preventive treatment is necessary.
If the dentist considers it so, you should not worry: this dental process does not involve any complications.
The procedure carried out by dentists when placing a dental sealant is simple and completely painless. In addition, it will last only a few minutes, and the application of anesthesia is not necessary.
Next, we break down the process step by step:
- The first step will be to carry out the correct hygiene of the piece on which the dental sealant will be placed to eliminate all the bacteria accumulated on its surface.
- Subsequently, the piece is dried and kept isolated from possible moisture with cotton or other absorbent material.
- An acid solution is positioned on the chewing surface to become rougher and better supports the adhesion of the sealing material to the tooth.
- The teeth are cleaned and dried again, and finally, the enamel sealant is applied. This material hardens and adheres to the tooth surface. On some occasions, a cold light lamp accelerates this adhesion process.