At Frank C Raymer DDS in Irvine, we are dedicated to offering the best preventive care for your teeth. Dental sealants are one of the most effective methods we use to prevent decay and maintain long-term dental health. Ideal for both children and adults, sealants are a simple procedure that can provide significant benefits.

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What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating made from plastic or other dental materials that adhere to the chewing surface of your back teeth—molars and premolars. Sealants quickly bond into the grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

● Cavity Prevention: Sealants prevent food and bacteria from getting into the grooves of the teeth, significantly reducing the risk of cavities.
● Easy Application: The process is quick, painless, and non-invasive, with sealants typically lasting for several years.
● Cost-Effective: By preventing decay and cavities, sealants save money on future dental treatments.
● Suitable for All Ages: While often recommended for children and teenagers, sealants can benefit adults and protect their teeth from decay.

The Procedure for Applying Sealants

1. Cleaning: The teeth that will be receiving sealants are thoroughly cleaned.
2. Preparation: Each tooth is dried, and an absorbent material is placed around the tooth to keep it dry.
3. Etching: A mild acid solution is applied to the chewing surfaces to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
4. Rinsing and Drying: The etching solution is rinsed off, and the teeth are dried again.
5. Applying the Sealant: The sealant is then applied to the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly and hardens. A special curing light may be used to help the sealant harden.

Aftercare for Dental Sealants

Caring for sealants is straightforward:
● Maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing.
● Avoid chewing ice or other hard objects that can chip the sealant.
● Visit Dr. Raymer regularly for check-ups to ensure the sealants are intact and functional.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Dental sealants are an excellent way to protect your teeth from decay and minimize the need for more extensive dental treatments. To learn more about dental sealants or to schedule an appointment, contact Frank C Raymer DDS today at (949) 551-2606.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Sealants

What exactly are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). The sealant material is usually made from a clear or tooth-colored resin that bonds directly to the tooth to shield it from bacteria and food particles.

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants work by filling in the grooves and depressions on the surfaces of molars and premolars. These areas are prone to collecting food and plaque, which can lead to cavities. The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier that prevents food and plaque from getting trapped.

At what age are sealants most effective?

Sealants are most effective for children and teenagers because they prevent decay in the permanent teeth as they come in. However, adults can also benefit from sealants, especially if they don’t have fillings or decay in their molars.

How long do sealants last?

With proper care, dental sealants can last up to 10 years. However, they need to be checked for chipping or wear at regular dental check-ups.

Are sealants visible on teeth?

No, sealants are not usually visible when you talk or smile because they are clear or tooth-colored. They are applied only to the molars and premolars, which are not easily visible.

Is the process of getting sealants painful?

No, the process of applying sealants is simple and painless. It involves cleaning the tooth, preparing it with a special solution, and then applying the sealant, which is then hardened with a special curing light.

Can sealants be placed over existing cavities?

Sealants are used to prevent decay and are typically applied to teeth that do not have fillings or cavities. However, if there is a very small amount of decay, a sealant may be applied to prevent further damage.

Do sealants replace fluoride for cavity protection?

No, sealants do not replace fluoride. Both sealants and fluoride work together to protect teeth. Fluoride helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth, while sealants add extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas.

How can I maintain my sealants?

Maintaining sealants is easy. Continue to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, avoid chewing on hard objects like ice or hard candies, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups.