Dental Sealants in West Seneca, NY
Experienced West Seneca Dentists Providing Affordable Dental Sealants to Safeguard Your Teeth
Dental sealants provide an opportunity for all people to better guard their teeth from the perniciousness of bacterial infection.
Few natural teeth have perfectly even surfaces. These imperfections have an evolutionary advantage, as ridged surfaces are far superior to flat surfaces in breaking down matter through biting and grinding. The unfortunate side effect of this quirk in human biology is that the corrugated exteriors of teeth are harder to clean effectively through brushing and flossing, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up and threatening the safety and health of each tooth. This is far more common among premolars and molars, which are farther back in the mouth and thus more challenging to thoroughly clean. Accretion of plaque can lead to the appearance of tartar, which weakens the integrity of the enamel and allows harmful bacteria to potentially penetrate the delicate inner flesh of every tooth.
Though symptoms of infection and decay, such as cavities, can affect individuals of all ages, dental health is of particular import in pediatric dentistry; deciduous teeth (baby teeth) are in the process of succumbing to gravity, permanent teeth are about to erupt (grow in), and children must make sure that both sets of teeth remain healthy throughout these two processes. Dental sealants have emerged as a popular option for parents concerned about their children’s teeth, though individuals from childhood through old age are eligible for sealants. Dental sealants provide an opportunity for all people to better guard their teeth from the perniciousness of bacterial infection.
Sealants are, in essence, a remedy for the inherent grooves and pits in the surfaces of teeth. These substances are administered to the exteriors of teeth, where they fill in the minuscule crevices and harden into place, forming a protective barrier. They are not a permanent fix; sealants will gradually wear away after several years, though portions of sealant may remain in the mouth even after decades have passed. Dental sealants are only optimally effective when they are fully intact, however, so lingering patches of sealant play little role in the defense of enamel against bacteria and plaque.
Dental sealants are most commonly composed of glass ionomer-based cement or composite resin. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages—composite resin sealants may have a longer shelf life while glass ionomer-based sealants provide teeth with a steady flow of fluoride for extra protection—but the two are equally effective in the prevention of cavities and related complications. In order to apply a sealant, the dentist must first clean the teeth, removing all calculus (tartar) that has accumulated in pockets throughout the mouth. It is critical after this point to ensure that the teeth are dry, as moisture from saliva or other sources can collect on the surfaces of teeth, preventing the sealant material from bonding directly with the enamel. Microscopic scoring of the teeth may then occur, which provides the sealant with a coarse surface to which it can more easily bind. As soon as the sealant has been administered to each tooth, it solidifies through exposure to a dental curing light, which is a bluish light designed specifically for the hardening of the resins used in sealants.