The best way to manage dental conditions is to stop them before they start. At Gallup Dental Group, we focus on preventive dentistry to help you maintain your oral health for a lifetime.
One of the most common oral conditions is dental decay, also called cavities, or caries. Most people will experience at least one instance of decay at some point during their lives. Fortunately, modern dentistry affords many opportunities to limit or avoid dental decay altogether.
How Dental Sealants Work
Bacteria create an acidic environment that softens the enamel protecting your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it can still break or deteriorate without the proper care. Bacteria feed on the food particles left behind after you eat. Their favorite meal is sugar. That is why you often hear that sugar causes cavities. The whole story is not quite as simple as that.
Our modern diets contain many decay-causing foods including starchy, processed carbohydrates, which convert to sugar when exposed to saliva. Sports drinks, sodas, and fruit juices often contain a double strike against your enamel – acid and sugar.
The most susceptible part of your teeth are the deep grooves of your molars. That is where dental sealants provide added protection by creating a barrier between bacteria, food particles, and your teeth.
Applying Dental Sealants to Your Teeth
You won’t need anesthetic when we apply dental sealants because we place them on the surface of your tooth and allow them to fill the deep grooves. We use the same composite resin material we use for dental fillings and they will blend in with your natural tooth color. Once your sealant is in place, we cure it with a special light, so that you can chew on it right away.
Dental sealants can last up to five years, depending on your eating habits and if you grind your teeth. We can replace them after five years to extend the protection they provide.
Who Should Have Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are most commonly used on children, but some adults can benefit from them as well. Everyone’s teeth are different – some adults have deep grooves in their molars that need protection. If adults consume soda or candy, we may recommend sealants to protect your smile.
Sealants are affordable and cost considerably less than even a small filling, making them a great investment in your oral health!
Call Gallup Dental Group to Learn More
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants for yourself or your child, contact our Gallup, NM dental office and one of our helpful staff members will schedule a time for you to have an exam with Dr. Kory Rowberry or Dr. Brad Vergien.
We look forward to meeting you!