Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract all of the food and plaque. The sealants Dental Professionals use protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food. The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates, but adults can benefit from sealants as well. Combined with proper home care and regular visits to Dental Professionals, sealants are extremely effective in preventing tooth decay.
Dental sealants, made of acrylic-like materials, form a protective barrier by bonding to tooth surfaces and covering natural depressions and grooves, called pits and fissures, in the teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins tin the pit and fissure areas of the back teeth. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Sealants are easy for the Chicago dentists at Dental Professionals to
apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth
that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are
roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the
tooth. The sealant is then 'painted' onto the tooth enamel, where it
bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing
light is used to help the sealant harden.
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular visits to Dental Professionals, your Chicago dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.