Tooth decay threatens the health of the entire mouth, so it is critical to prevent and address it quickly when it develops. Dr. Jerry M. Strauss at Aesthetic Dental Care of New Jersey uses dental sealants to protect the tooth surface from decay, and fillings to restore teeth weakened by existing decay. Our dentist and team are happy to discuss the option that is best for your needs during an in-person consultation.
How Dental Sealants Work
According to the American Dental Association®, placing sealants on permanent molars can reduce the risk of cavities by 80%. Sealants are plastic coatings applied to the grooves and pits of the back teeth, which are most susceptible to developing decay. Although brushing and flossing are designed to remove bacteria and food particles, the brush bristles are too big to access some of these tiny pits and grooves. The protective sealant coating acts as a physical barrier to prevent the build-up of plaque in the grooved and pitted areas.
Sealants are most often recommended for children around the ages of 11 to 13, after their permanent molars erupt (i.e., grow into the mouth). They can also be used on adult teeth that have deep grooves and fissures vulnerable to decay.
Placing Dental Sealants
When placing a sealant, Dr. Strauss first cleans and dries the tooth thoroughly. An acidic solution is used to “rough up” the surface of the tooth to help the sealant better adhere. Dr. Strauss places the liquid sealant onto the chewing surface of the tooth, and it flows into the tiny grooves and pits of the tooth. He then bonds or sets the liquid with a special ultraviolet light.
Sealants can be transparent, white or slightly tinted, depending on the type. They do not impair chewing at all; you can chew normally on a tooth with a sealant. Sealants can last for many years.
Learn More About Dental Sealants
For more information about preventing or treating tooth decay with sealants and fillings in Totowa, New Jersey, Dr. Strauss welcomes you to call 973-227-8998 or email our practice today.