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Dental Sealants

Close up of a dental assistant applying a UV light to a white female patient's newly sealed teethDental sealants are a valuable defense mechanism in the battle against tooth decay. For patients grappling with tooth decay, especially among children, sealants offer a safeguard to ward off potential damage and the need for subsequent dental restoration. At Frank Dunlap, DDS, we can assess your current plaque levels and determine if the application of dental sealants is a suitable solution for you.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants consist of a liquid plastic material, most commonly composite resin, that is effortlessly applied to the surface of clean teeth. Subsequent drying results in the hardening of the sealants, forming a robust and impenetrable shield around each tooth. This barrier effectively blocks access to food particles, plaque, and bacteria, reducing the risk of tooth decay.

How Dental Sealants Work

Each tooth in your mouth plays a unique role, and its exposure to plaque and bacteria may vary accordingly. Front teeth, utilized primarily for biting, feature flat and sharp surfaces that briefly encounter food, minimizing their exposure to potentially harmful elements. In contrast, molars, the back teeth, are tasked with breaking down food during the chewing process. These molars exhibit broad and flat areas interspersed with distinctive ridges and depressions, which assist in food fragmentation. However, these intricate contours can also trap food particles and plaque, posing a challenge for effective brushing. When debris lingers within these concealed crevices, it can lead to decay, potentially compromising the enamel, dentin, or even the root of the tooth. Dental sealants act as a protective barrier, adept at sealing these nooks and crannies, fortifying your teeth against potential threats.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Sealants have been known to reduce the risk of cavities on permanent molars by up to 80%. Our extensive experience corroborates this finding, as we witness a growing number of children transitioning into adulthood without experiencing the burden of cavities. The long-term goal is to promote healthier, longer-lasting natural teeth. Preserving your natural teeth is very important and begins in childhood.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

We advocate the consideration of dental sealants for all patients under the age of 18, as well as those with heightened plaque levels. These protective barriers can effectively shield your teeth from the perils of decay, reducing the necessity for extensive treatment while extending the longevity of your natural teeth.

Dental Sealant Procedure

The dental sealant procedure is a straightforward and painless process. Our skilled dental professionals will guide you through each step, ensuring that your teeth receive the protection they deserve.

First, our dental team will clean and prepare the tooth surface for the sealant. This process typically involves polishing the tooth to remove any debris or plaque. To keep the tooth dry and free from saliva, we will place a small cotton roll around the tooth or use a specialized device to isolate it. Once the tooth is dry and ready, the liquid dental sealant material is gently applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. The sealant flows into the grooves and depressions of the tooth, creating a protective barrier. In most cases, we use a curing light to harden the sealant. This makes it durable and ensures a long-lasting result. Our team will examine the sealant to ensure it has properly bonded to the tooth. Any necessary adjustments will be made to guarantee a secure fit. Once the sealant has fully dried and adhered to the tooth, the process is complete. You can immediately resume your normal activities without any restrictions.

Caring for Dental Sealants

Caring for dental sealants is a simple process that can help ensure their longevity and effectiveness in preventing tooth decay. Continue brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. Dental sealants are not a substitute for regular oral hygiene practices.

Attend regular dental check-ups to allow us to monitor the condition of your sealants and ensure they remain intact.

Avoid chewing on hard objects, such as ice or hard candies, as this can damage the sealants. If you have a habit of teeth grinding, consider wearing a night guard to protect your dental sealants.

Consume a balanced diet rich in nutrients, and limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Dental Sealants FAQs

Are dental sealants painful?

Dental sealants are not painful. The application process is generally quick, straightforward, and painless. It involves cleaning the tooth, applying the sealant material, and curing it with a special light. Patients usually do not experience any discomfort during or after the procedure.

How long do dental sealants last?

Dental sealants can last for several years, typically ranging from five to 10 years or more. The longevity of sealants depends on factors such as the quality of the sealant material, the oral hygiene practices of the individual, and the normal wear and tear on the teeth. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the condition of your sealants.

Can adults get dental sealants?

While dental sealants are most commonly associated with children and teenagers, adults can also benefit from sealant application. If an adult has a tooth with deep grooves or fissures that are at risk of decay, dental sealants can be a valuable preventive measure. Our dental professionals can assess whether sealants are suitable for your specific dental needs, regardless of your age.

Do dental sealants contain BPA?

A common concern revolves around the safety of dental sealants, given their plastic composition with a minimal level of BPA. However, rest assured that the quantity of BPA in sealants falls significantly below the established safety threshold for dental use. The ADA has emphasized the safety of dental sealants, noting that breathing air exposes people to about 100 times more BPA than dental sealants. When comparing the BPA levels present in everyday environments, such as dust and air, dental sealants emerge as significantly safer. Our commitment to patient safety includes the strict adherence to correct application protocols, ensuring that dental sealants pose no risk when professionally administered.

Choosing Frank Dunlap, DDS for Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a valuable tool in the fight against tooth decay. If you have more questions or would like to explore the possibility of dental sealants, don't hesitate to reach out to us for a comprehensive evaluation and expert guidance.
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Dental Sealants - Houston, TX • Frank Dunlap, DDS
Protect your smile with dental sealants! With Dr. Dunlap, our skilled professionals can safeguard your teeth against decay. Call us today!
Frank Dunlap, DDS, 11451 Katy Freeway, Suite 103, Houston, TX 77079, (346) 576-4411,, 4/26/2024, Page Keywords: dentist Houston TX,