Cavities are one of the most common health issues throughout the world. According to the American Dental Association, 91 percent of Americans over the age of 20 have had at least one cavity during their lifetime. Brushing and flossing daily, avoiding sugary foods, and visiting Dr. Cederbaum’s office for regular checkups are the best things you can do to prevent cavities. If you’re looking for some additional protection, Dr. Cederbaum offers dental sealants, a treatment that helps reduce your chances of contracting tooth decay.
What Are Cavities?
Cavities, also referred to as tooth decay or dental caries, are the result of an infection which attacks the patient’s tooth. They’re caused by bacteria which feeds on plaque, the sticky film that forms on teeth after a meal. Bacteria create acids that penetrate the enamel, which is the hard, white outer layer protecting your teeth. Once the enamel is broken down, the decay penetrates the tooth and destroys its internal structure.
If your dentist discovers the cavity early enough, it can be repaired with a filling. This is a treatment designed to restore the damaged tooth by removing the decay, cleaning the affected area, and using dental material such as resin to fill the cavity.
If a patient’s decay is allowed to progress substantially before it comes to the attention of a dentist, it may create a cavity that’s too large to restore with a regular filling. In these cases, an onlay, inlay, or dental crown is required to restore the tooth. Sometimes the damage is so extensive that the tooth cannot be saved.
Dental Sealants–Extra Protection Against Cavities
Dr. Cederbaum offers dental sealants to provide an extra layer of protection against cavities. Studies indicate that dental sealants are effective for reducing your chances of getting tooth decay. A dental sealant is a procedure performed in our office where we apply a thin plastic coating to your teeth to help prevent bacteria from penetrating your teeth and causing cavities.
Dental sealants are typically effective for 3 to 5 years. They’re used to protect the patient’s molars and premolars, the square-shaped teeth which come after your canines. These teeth are responsible for most of the chewing and they have irregular surfaces with crevices which make them difficult to clean. That’s why these teeth are particularly susceptible to decay.
It’s Quick and Easy
Getting your dental sealant is quick and painless. Here’s how it works:
- First, we thoroughly clean, rinse, and dry your teeth.
- Next, we apply an etching gel to prepares the surface of the teeth to bond with the sealant.
- Then, we apply the sealant to your teeth.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Sealants?
Sealants are usually provided for younger patients, between the ages of 6 and 14 when they are most susceptible to cavities. But older patients are not immune to cavities. At Dr. Cederbaum’s office, we provide sealant to patients of various ages. We want to help protect your smile and keep it healthy for life.
Call today or fill out the form to learn more about what dental sealants can do for your smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dental sealants last?
In most cases, sealants last for about three to five years. However, they may last up to ten years with proper oral hygiene. Make sure to visit Dr. Cederbaum for regular dental exams so she can check on your sealants and repair any damage if necessary.
Can adults get dental sealants?
Yes! While sealants are primarily used for children and teenagers, adults can benefit from them in some cases as well. Just as with younger patients, sealants can guard your teeth against cavities and help to prevent tooth loss. Schedule a consultation with our Seattle dentist to find out if you’re a candidate.