What are sealants?

Sealants are a simple way to profoundly reduce the chance of developing cavities, especially for those who are prone to cavities or have deep grooves in their teeth. In a simple procedure, a coat of BPA-free plastic coating is applied to the tooth, effectively blocking bacteria and acids from getting into tooth crevices that are impossible to reach with brushing or flossing.

Is a sealant the same as a filling?

Not at all. Sealants are an elective procedure used on healthy teeth to lower the risk of developing cavities. Sealants keep the teeth healthy. Filings are used when teeth already have cavities. Unlike sealants, filings require drilling to remove decay, which usually means local numbing is necessary. Sealants are a safe, painless, and easy way to practice cavity prevention.  

What is the procedure like?

Placing sealants on teeth is quick and easy! Each tooth takes just a few minutes to complete. Sealant is only for the back teeth, or molars, since it does not adhere to smooth surfaces. Additionally, molars are the teeth most prone to cavities. The first step is to clean the surface of the tooth. Once rinsed, the tooth must be dried completely because sealant can only adhere properly to dry surfaces. Then, a blue acidic gel named ‘etch’ is applied to the grooves of the teeth for 20-30 seconds.

Etch primes the tooth for the sealant, and kills any bacteria lingering in the tooth’s crevices. The etch is washed off, and the tooth is finally ready for the application of sealant. Once the sealant is on, a blue light is used to cure it, hardening it in place. Finally, the patient performs a bite test to make sure everything feels normal. At this time, small adjustments can be made as needed.

Sealant aftercare

After receiving dental sealants in Newport Beach, you can go back to your regularly scheduled life right away. Sealants can sometimes fall out in the month following application, so it is important to check your teeth in the four weeks following the treatment to ensure they haven’t dislodged.

If this does occur, schedule a visit for replacement. It is essential to avoid crunchy foods and chewing ice. While sealants prevent cavities from forming on the biting surfaces of your teeth, cavities can still develop from plaque buildup on the sides of the teeth.

To prevent this, teeth must be brushed twice a day and flossed before bed, and regular dental check-ups are a must. Sealants by themselves cannot protect 100% against cavities, but are very effective when used in conjunction with healthy dental habits.

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Who should get sealants?

Sealants are helpful for most people, though they are usually placed on kids. This is because dental insurance will often fully cover the treatment for anyone under the age of 14.

However, they are cheaper than cavities, and a good idea if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have deep grooves in your molars
  • You are prone to cavities
  • Your permanent molars have come in
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Vartanian knows that prevention is key

A great smile starts with consistent dental care. Dr. Vartanian counsels patients that prevention now is easier than correction later. Over his 20+ year-long practice, Dr. Vartanian has helped scores of people maintain healthy, beautiful teeth.

His staff at the Newport Dental Industry treats every patient like a VIP, ensuring a comfortable and seamless experience every time. Despite his many years of experience, Dr. Vartanian regularly pursues continuing education so he can be sure his patients receive the best and most advanced care possible. Contact our offices today to schedule your complimentary consultation!

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