Why Dental Sealants
18% of all 2-4 year olds have tooth decay… by age 17, 78% of children will have experienced dental disease with almost 10% losing at least one permanent tooth. 88% of children’s cavities are in the pits and fissures of their molar teeth.
Sealants alone have been found to reduce the incidence of decay by over 60%. A combination of sealants and fluoride has been shown to reduce the amount of decay by up to 80%.
6 year molars commonly called “First Molars” come in (one in each corner of the mouth) between the ages of 5 and 7. These molars DO NOT replace a baby tooth. They come in behind the last baby tooth and serve as anchor teeth for the entire bite. Usually the largest tooth with the strongest roots, these 6 year molars often have very deep pits and fissures that even if brushed correctly, the bristles of a toothbrush are too big and can not reach the bottom. As a result, this is where the majority of all tooth decay (cavities) is found.
At approximately age 12, the jaws have grown enough that another permanent tooth (Second or 12 year Molars) come in behind the 6-year molars. If the 6 year molars have been decayed and extracted, it is likely the 12 year molar will tilt into the 6-year molars vacant space and the entire bite can be damaged.
What is a Dental Sealant
A dental sealant is a safe plastic like material that is painted on to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). This material flows into the deep pits and fissures (see picture below) and bonds, acting as a barrier to help “seal out” the food and bacteria which cause tooth decay and destroy tooth structure.
The process is painless and quick. The teeth to be sealed are cleaned off and etched with a liquid to both kill any bacteria present and to help the sealant material bond with the tooth enamel. Then, a wear- resistant, tooth colored sealant material is applied and carefully bonded with the help of a curing light into the grooves effectively “sealing” the tooth against decay. This process is very technique sensitive with best results being achieved when performed by a preventive dental specialist known as a Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Grinovations Guarantee
Dental sealants can wear, chip or even fracture over time, so should be checked at each dental visit. With Grinovations using only the best proven materials and with every sealant placed by a Registered Dental Hygienist, our sealants are guaranteed through high school. Grinovations will repair, touch up or replace any sealant, placed by our company absolutely free of charge through the high school years.
This Picture shows the deep pits and fissures normally found in molars. These areas act as a food and bacteria trap, greatly increasing the potential for decay. More than two-thirds of all decay occurs in narrow pits and fissures like these.
This picture shows a molar which has had a sealant placed in the pits and fissures to protect the tooth.