What Are Dental Sealants?

At Tracey Dental, we are proponents of prevention rather than treating dental disease after it develops. We are proud to offer state-of-the-art preventive dentistry services, including dental sealants. The quick and simple procedure not only helps prevent tooth decay but can also halt its progression when applied during its early stages. Talk to one of our team members to learn more about dental sealants and to determine if they are right for you.

Where Is Tooth Decay Most Likely to Develop?

The most likely location for tooth decay to develop is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, known as the premolars and molars. That’s because these surfaces aren’t smooth, like the rest of your tooth surfaces. Instead, they have tiny grooves and depressions known as pits and fissures, which trap bacteria and food debris. However well you brush and floss, it’s not always easy to reach into those dark, moist crevices that provide cavity-causing bacteria the perfect conditions to flourish. 

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are clear, thin plastic-like resin coatings. When applied, they bond to the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of your teeth and smooth them out. Sealants provide protective shields that essentially seal out cavity-causing bacteria, plaque, and food particles.

Why Do Dentists Recommend Dental Sealants? 

Many dentists recommend placing sealants on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to prevent tooth decay and cavities. While fluoride present in drinking water and toothpaste helps strengthen the tooth enamel and make it more resistant to tooth decay, the teeth in the back of the mouth often need a little extra help. A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop tooth decay, preventing the need for involved and costly restorative procedures down the road. Most importantly, you’ll spare yourself a great deal of pain and discomfort!

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Dental sealants are proven to be effective for use over areas with early decay to prevent further damage to the teeth. The material is transparent, so we can monitor your teeth and ensure the condition does not progress. 

When Should You Have Dental Sealant Placed?

Premolars and molars erupt between the ages of 6 and 13. The earlier a child gets dental sealants placed, the better. We recommend sealing the back teeth as soon as they come in to keep them healthy and free of decay and cavities right from the start.  

When it comes to adults, the best time for sealants is right now! Don’t wait for cavities or toothaches to develop. We invite you to consult with Dr. Long and your trusted team at Tracey Dental to determine how to best protect your teeth from tooth decay and cavities.

What Is the Dental Sealant Procedure?

Applying sealant is a quick and painless procedure. After thoroughly cleaning and drying your teeth, we will place an acidic solution on their chewing surfaces to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond. Next, we will rinse and dry your teeth, then apply the sealant. A curing light will help harden the material. The resulting coating will shield your teeth and make them resistant to plaque bacteria attacks.  

Caring for Sealed Teeth

Having dental sealants placed is not a substitute for meticulous oral hygiene practices. We recommend regular brushing and flossing to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Don’t forget to visit Tracey Dental for your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings. That way, we can monitor your oral health and treat any dental problems as they develop. 

Dental Sealants in McKinney, TX

Visit Tracey Dental to learn more about preventing tooth decay and cavities using dental sealants. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy, radiant smile for a lifetime. Call us and schedule your appointment today!