There are some areas of our teeth which are very hard to reach and normal toothbrushes fail to clean them properly. As a result, bacteria can accumulate there and harm our teeth in the long run. A good example of this would be the small grooves and pits on our molars and premolars (back chewing teeth). So, what’s a viable solution to this problem? The answer is sealants!
Dr. Naim uses sealants at her West Los Angeles practice to seal these deep regions of the teeth and prevent debris from building up there and causing cavities. Sealants act as a coating which becomes a protective shield between the teeth and bacteria. Since they fill up the pits on the teeth, the bacteria are unable to get inside these crevices and cause any damage.
Sealants come in liquid form. They have the ability to quickly harden and become solid after they are treated with ultraviolet light. Dr. Naim can easily apply them at her state-of-the-art dental office without the need of any complex surgery or operation.
Applying Sealants at Our Los Angeles Office
Sealants are very quick and easy to apply. In most cases, each tooth can be completed in just few minutes. There are three major steps which are required to seal each tooth:
- Cleaning the Tooth: It is important to fully clean the tooth before applying the sealants. This ensures there are no bacteria remaining on the tooth and also helps the sealants to stick more readily. So, to do that, Dr. Naim may use a mechanical brush to scrub off the surface of the tooth or an air abrasion device which uses compressed air to clean the cavity.
Afterwards, Dr. Naim will apply an etch (a type of acid) to the surface of the tooth. The etch will stay there for about twenty to thirty seconds and then it will be rinsed off completely with the help of water and a suction device. The tooth will then be dried.
- Applying the Sealants: The next step is to apply the sealant material on the tooth. Dr. Naim will use a syringe and carefully discharge the sealant on the surface of the tooth. The sealant will spread on the grooves and openings of the tooth by itself.
- Using the Curing Light: When the sealant is successfully placed, a special light is used to solidify it from liquid or gel form. This bright blue ultraviolet light is used on each tooth for about one minute to make sure the sealant has hardened and appropriately filled all the openings.
Lastly, Dr. Naim will check the tooth and ensure everything went as planned. The whole process will only take about five minutes.
Sealants Can Last Many Years
Dr. Naim takes utmost care when applying sealants because if they are not applied correctly, they can wear off or become dislodged. Properly applied sealants can easily last two to five years and even up to ten years for some people.
Regardless of how long they last, Dr. Naim recommends that you have them checked out every time you visit your dentist. If they are coming off fully or partially, your dentist may have to reapply them to ensure proper coverage is provided.
Main Benefits of Sealants
Overall, there are several benefits of sealants:
- In the long run, they protect the teeth from harmful plaques and cavities.
- Well-placed sealants can offer years of protection for teeth in areas where toothbrushes cannot reach.
- There are no painful procedures in the process and they are very fast and simple to apply.
- They are effective for both adults and children alike.
- Sealants are a great prevention for future dental fillings.