Dental Sealants Northridge
Dental sealants are thin coatings that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars to seal out decay. Molars and premolars have grooves and pits called fissures, which can be deep and narrow, making them difficult to clean. Plaque and bacteria can build up in fissures, and a toothbrush may not be enough to dislodge the debris. The acid released by the oral bacteria will break down the enamel on the chewing surfaces, and over time, decay will develop and lead to a cavity. Our Northridge dental office uses sealants to protect healthy teeth from decay.
Dental sealants are applied to permanent molars and premolars as soon as they have erupted through the gums. Although they are typically used in children, they can also be applied to adults’ teeth as long as they do not have any cavities. The sealants seal the fissures to prevent bacteria from accumulating in the pits and grooves of the chewing surfaces. The dental sealants are clear or slightly tinted, and virtually invisible once they have been applied.
Candidates for dental sealants can have them placed in a single appointment at our Northridge dental office. First, the surface of the tooth will be carefully cleaned using a special toothpaste and brush. Then, the tooth’s surface will be roughened with an etching solution. This ensures a secure bond between the tooth and the sealant. The sealant is painted directly onto the tooth and hardened using a light. As soon as the sealant is cured, you can resume eating and chewing as normal. We will check the sealants at each dental appointment and can reapply them as needed.
Dental sealants do not replace or reduce the need for good dental hygiene. You will still need to brush and floss your teeth, and fluoride treatments are still recommended to help strengthen your dental enamel. When well-maintained, dental sealants can last years, keeping bacteria out of your teeth and preserving the integrity of the chewing surfaces. Call our pediatric dentist in Northridge to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
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