Dental Sealants in Bakersfield
Protect Your Teeth for a Brighter Smile
Maintaining good oral health is crucial for a beautiful smile and overall well-being. One essential preventive measure in dentistry is the application of dental sealants. Sealants act as a shield against tooth decay by sealing off the deep grooves and pits where bacteria and food particles tend to accumulate, preventing cavities from forming.
At Gentle Family Dentistry, Dr. Jonathan Garger provides dental sealants to those whose teeth need a little extra protection from damage. To schedule an appointment at our Bakersfield dental office, call today at 661-664-9900.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the surfaces of teeth, primarily the molars and premolars, to prevent tooth decay. They’re typically made from a plastic or resin material and used as a preventive measure. The chewing surfaces of the back teeth have numerous pits and fissures where food particles and bacteria can easily become trapped, making them susceptible to decay.
Dental sealants act as a barrier, filling in these fissures and creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean through regular brushing. They effectively shield the vulnerable areas from the acids and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Sealants are particularly beneficial for children and adolescents, as they can protect their developing teeth during their most cavity-prone years.
However, adults can also use them as a preventive measure to maintain oral health. Dental sealants are a simple and painless procedure that can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and the need for more extensive dental treatments in the future.
Different Types of Dental Sealants
The most common type of dental sealant is resin-based. Resin-based sealants are made from a liquid resin material that’s applied to the teeth and hardened with a special curing light. Resin-based sealants are tooth-colored, making them virtually invisible and aesthetically pleasing.
Glass Ionomer Sealants
Glass ionomer sealants are a combination of acrylic and glass powders that form a hardened material on the teeth. These sealants are tooth-colored and release fluoride over time, which helps strengthen the teeth and provide additional protection against cavities.
Compomer sealants are a hybrid of composite resin and glass ionomer materials. They offer the benefits of both materials, including aesthetics, fluoride release, and durability. Compomer sealants are commonly used in situations where aesthetics and long-term protection are of utmost importance.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
There are various benefits to getting dental sealants, including:
- Cavity Prevention: By creating a protective barrier on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars, sealants prevent food particles and bacteria from settling into the pits and fissures of the teeth, reducing the risk of cavities.
- Cost-Effective: Applying dental sealants is a relatively inexpensive preventive measure compared to treating cavities. It can help individuals avoid the expenses associated with dental fillings, crowns, or root canals.
- Pain-Free: The process of applying sealants is painless and non-invasive. It typically involves cleaning and drying the teeth, applying the sealant material, and then allowing it to harden. No drilling or injections are required.
- Long-Lasting Protection: Dental sealants can last for several years, providing continuous protection against tooth decay. They’re particularly beneficial during childhood and adolescence when the risk of cavities is highest.
- Improved Oral Hygiene: Sealants create a smoother surface on the teeth, making it easier to clean through regular brushing. This promotes better oral hygiene practices and reduces the likelihood of plaque buildup.
- Prevention of Dental Anxiety: Children, in particular, may experience dental anxiety. By reducing the need for more invasive treatments, dental sealants can help alleviate fear and make dental visits more comfortable for young patients.
- Quick Application: Applying dental sealants is a relatively quick procedure that can often be completed in a single dental visit, making it convenient for both patients and dental professionals.
Dental Sealant Process
The process of applying dental sealants involves cleaning the teeth, drying them thoroughly, isolating them from moisture, etching the tooth surfaces, applying the sealant material, and using a curing light to harden the sealant. Our dentist then checks for proper bonding, bite alignment, and smoothness, trimming any excess sealant and polishing the teeth to complete the procedure. This quick and painless process provides long-lasting protection against cavities, making it particularly useful for children and teenagers.
Can You Get Dental Sealants?
Our dentists may recommend dental sealants to:
- Children and Teenagers: Dental sealants are most commonly applied to children and teenagers as their permanent molars and premolars come in.
- Adults with Deep Fissures: Adults who have deep pits and fissures in their molars and premolars may also benefit from dental sealants.
- Individuals at High Risk of Cavities: Some people are at a higher risk of developing cavities due to factors such as a history of tooth decay, poor oral hygiene habits, a diet high in sugary or acidic foods, or conditions that reduce saliva production (xerostomia or dry mouth).
- Individuals With Orthodontic Appliances: Patients with braces or other orthodontic appliances may find it challenging to clean around brackets and wires. Sealants can provide an extra layer of protection during orthodontic treatment.
- Special Needs Patients: Individuals with developmental or cognitive disabilities may have difficulty maintaining optimal oral hygiene. Dental sealants can be particularly beneficial for this group to reduce the risk of cavities.
- Patients With Dental Anxiety: For individuals with dental anxiety, preventive measures like sealants can help reduce the need for more invasive dental treatments, potentially making dental visits less stressful.
To find out if you qualify for dental sealants, contact our dental office today by calling 661-664-9900.
Costs of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a relatively cheaper dental treatment, with prices around $30 to $40 per tooth. Certain factors will affect the total cost, such as your location, the number of teeth getting sealants, and your insurance coverage.
You can receive an estimate by contacting our Bakersfield dentist today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants can last for several years, often up to 5 to 10 years or more, depending on factors like wear and tear and oral hygiene practices.
Is the application of dental sealants painful?
No, the application of dental sealants is a painless and non-invasive procedure. There’s no need for dental anesthesia or drilling.
Take Charge of Your Dental Health
Dental sealants are a valuable preventive measure in dental care. By providing a protective barrier against cavities, they can help preserve your natural teeth and promote a healthier, brighter smile.
Contact our family dentists in Bakersfield today to schedule an appointment. Call us at 661-664-9900 to get started.