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Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants in Cary, NC

Dental sealants create a barrier that protects teeth from acids and plaque. These plastic coatings are applied to the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the permanent molars and premolars. Sealants help prevent food particles and plaque from getting stuck in the grooves and depressions of the teeth by creating a smooth surface that reduces the risk of tooth decay. Dental sealants are typically used on children, but can also be applied to adult teeth on patients who are at a higher risk of dental cavities. Sealants can be white, clear, or be slightly tinted depending on the type of sealant used.

How Dental Sealants Are Placed

Before dental sealants are placed, the tooth surface is cleaned using a rotating brush and paste. Next, the dentist will wash the tooth surfaces with water. An acidic solution is then applied to the depressed areas of the tooth’s chewing surface for several seconds before being rinsed off. This process roughens up the tooth surface which allows the sealant to better adhere.

Dr. Qureshy will then thoroughly dry the tooth and apply the liquid dental sealant. The sealant is hardened using a special curing light. Some types of sealants do not require a light to set the material. Once the dental sealant has been hardened, it becomes a hard plastic coating. This coating feels like your natural tooth and is resilient enough for you to chew on like normal.

Average Lifespan of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants have been used since the 1970s to prevent tooth decay on the chewing surfaces. Sealants can last up to 10 years but should be regularly examined at dental check-ups to ensure that they are not worn or chipped away. If your sealants are found to need repair, Dr. Qureshy will apply more sealant material to the tooth surface. Costing an average of $25 per tooth, dental sealants are an affordable way to keep your teeth free from decay.

Varieties of Dental Sealants

The most common type of dental sealant material consists of dimethacrylate monomer (BIS-GMA) that has been diluted with a co-monomer. This material is a resin or plastic, similar to the material used to create white fillings. In some instances, another type of sealant material may be used, such as glass-ionomer dental cement. However, BIS-GMA remains the material of choice for most dental professionals.

Dental sealants protect teeth against decay and plaque. While brushing and flossing can significantly reduce the risk of cavities, it can be challenging for children to reach the pits and crevices that develop in the molars and premolars. Schedule your dental sealant appointment today.