05 Aug Protect Your Teeth With Dental Sealants
According to the World Health Organization 60-90% of school children, and nearly 100% of
adults have dental cavities. While many understand cavities are caused by poor dental hygiene,
a sugary diet, or not visiting the dentist, some do not realize grooves in teeth take a toll as well.
Food, plaque and bacteria gets stuck in the grooves or pits of the teeth, which can be difficult to
reach with the bristles of a toothbrush. One solution to prevent cavities from forming within the
grooves of teeth is dental sealants. Children and teenagers between the ages of 6- 14 should
especially be considered for dental sealants, as these are the prime years they are most likely
to be at risk of cavities.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a simple procedure, used to fill in the gaps and cover the top of the tooth.
Dr. Thuernagle performs dental sealants by placing a composite material over the tooth to cover
the gap and provide an extra protective layer. A special type of light is then used to harden the
composite material over the tooth. This procedure is simple, does not take long to perform, and
prevents food, bacteria and plaque from settling in the gap and causing greater damage.
How are Sealants Different Than Fillings?
Fillings are restorative, while sealants are preventative. When tooth decay eats away the tooth
to form a cavity, a filling is needed to fill and restore the tooth. Sealants prevent cavities on the
surface of the tooth by preventing tooth decay in the first place. A common misconception about
sealants is they prevent all cavities in the mouth. A sealant does not protect the side of a tooth
where a cavity may form, because sealants cannot be put on a flat surface. Proper oral hygiene
and care is still needed with dental sealants, and is not an excuse to skip brushing and flossing.
How Do Sealants Effect My Bite?
Dental sealants should fit nicely over the tooth and should not even be noticeable. If your
sealant is uncomfortable, Dr. Thuernagle can smoothe over the top so you do not notice it when
you bite down. If you begin to feel discomfort or pain in your mouth from a sealant, schedule an
appointment with Dr. Thuernagle immediately. Legacy Dental will make sure your sealant feels
comfortable when you bite. Sealants are a simple procedure and can be adjusted for your
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can last about five years or more, but it depends on the person and circumstances.
Chewing and biting down over the years can wear out, or chip, your dental sealants. Sealants
are ineffective if food, fluids, bacteria or plaque can slip underneath. Patients should schedule
an appointment every six months to make sure the sealants hold up.
Why Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a common dental routine. Dr. Thuernagle highly recommends dental
sealants, especially for youth, because it can prevent tooth decay and cavities. Opting for dental
sealants can also save you money in the long term by forgoing the need for fillings, crowns or
root canals. Add an extra layer of protection for your teeth by asking Dr. Thuernagle about
sealants. For more information about dental sealants, or to schedule a routine appointment to
check up on your dental sealants, give Legacy Dental a call at 208-932-1159.