Oral cavities have become a prevalent menace. These cavities are formed when bacteria from leftover food particles breakdown and release acids capable of corroding the enamel. Although dentists recommend brushing twice a day and using dental floss, there are some areas of teeth where even the tiniest bristle of a toothbrush fails to reach. These areas are generally groovy and are called “fissures”. Some fissures can be real deep making them prone to decay. These fissures become repositories of plaque eventually resulting in tooth cavities. What could be the solution to put an end to this vicious cycle?
Enter the latest darling of preventive dentistry: Sealants. A sealant is a plastic film that is placed on the occlusal or chewing surface of molar and premolar teeth. By forming a protective layer over the chewing surface of teeth, dental sealants prevent the accumulation of plaque and thereby preserve teeth. Sealants have managed to get the nod from the American Dental Association as a key means of cavity prevention.
Good news is that the process of sealing teeth is quite a simple procedure not taking more than 45 minutes depending on the number of teeth to be sealed. To begin with, the spots showing signs of decay are identified. Then the teeth are prepared for sealing by first thoroughly cleansing the teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. The solution is then rinsed after forty-five seconds and the teeth are dried. The sealant is then applied on to the chewing surfaces and hardened with the help of a curing light. The entire process is completely comfortable and quick.
Dental sealants work by forming an impenetrable physical barrier across the surface of the tooth. This barrier cuts out the contact of the teeth with potential plaque-forming substances like food particles. Studies have shown that dental sealants have been used and have been proven to be effective since the 1970s. Sealants are generally long-lasting (most sealants last up to ten years) and there is also the possibility of resealing the tooth in the unlikely event of the sealant wearing off. Most insurance companies cover the expenses of sealing only at a minimal level. Increasingly, more companies are recognising the importance of sealants in preventing tooth decay and thereby preventing future dental treatments.
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