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Dental Sealants

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All About Dental Sealants

Part of a parent’s job is to give their child the best foundation for life and this includes their oral health. A patient’s mouth will change so much over the course of their childhood as the first teeth grow in and then are replaced by permanent teeth.

It is important to protect the permanent teeth and to teach children good oral health care strategies to protect their teeth and help prevent damage or decay. In addition to teaching children good oral health care practices and making sure they see the dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups, parents can also help protect their child’s teeth by talking to the dentist about dental sealants.

How We Can Help You

The team at Burke Dental is proud to serve patients in the Burke, Virginia area, regardless of age. Dr. Ghanavati and his team know that our younger patients require special care and we are happy to deliver. We offer preventive dental services aimed at taking care of growing teeth and helping prevent future problems. Depending on the patient, we may offer sealants as a way of protecting those young teeth and giving them the best chance to grow healthy and strong.

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The Benefits of Dental Sealants

There are a lot of reasons the team at Burke Dental might recommend sealants for a young patient. Sealants are a protective measure, a defense against future cavities and tooth decay. Sealants don’t take the place of a good oral healthcare routine, but they do offer an additional level of protection. Some of the benefits of dental sealants include:

  • Prevent cavities. Dental sealants act as a barrier on a patient’s teeth, protecting the teeth from bacteria and decay, which can help prevent cavities.
  • Protect the back teeth. Sealants are generally applied on a patient’s molars, which can be harder to reach and clean, especially for children who are just learning to brush their teeth. Because they are more difficult to brush, these teeth are at a higher risk of decay and dental sealants can help prevent that.
  • Give growing teeth the best start. It is recommended that sealants be placed as soon as the molars begin to come in and before any potential decay or damage can set it. This protects the young teeth and gives the patient the best start towards a health mouth.
  • Prevent further procedures. Dental sealants are an investment in a child’s future, one that can pay off by preventing other costly procedures down the road. The healthier the teeth are, the less likely the patient is going to need procedures like fillings or crowns. Sealants are one way to try to preserve the health of the tooth.

Dental sealants are one way to help keep young patients cavity-free and give them a good foundation to work with as they learn a good oral health routine. While sealants won’t replace regular tooth brushing and flossing, they can offer an extra level of protection.

What Are Dental Sealants

What exactly is a dental sealant? A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating that is applied to the surface of a patient’s molars. This coating acts as a layer of defense against bacteria and food build up by creating a layer between the bacteria and the tooth’s surface. Dental sealants are typically applied to a patient’s back teeth because they are the ones that are harder to reach and are more prone to developing cavities. Getting dental sealants doesn’t mean a patient won’t get cavities, but when used in combination with a good oral health routine, it greatly reduces the risk of cavities and other tooth problems.

Parents in the Burke, Virginia area who think their children may benefit from sealants, or adult patients who are interested in sealants for themselves, should make an appointment with the team at Burke Dental. Our team will sit down with the patient and do an examination and then discuss whether we think that dental sealants are the right course of action for the particular patient.


How They Work

Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surface of teeth, to help act as a layer of protection against bacteria and leftover food particles. Dental sealants are most often applied to the back teeth, because these teeth are more difficult to brush, and they also have several grooves that make them more vulnerable to leftover food particles than front teeth or canines. Dental sealants are used to cover those grooves and give them layer of additional protection.


Who Are Dental Sealants For

While patients of any age can get dental sealants, they are most often recommended for children. This is because children have growing teeth which can often use the extra level of protection, and also because young children need time to learn good oral healthcare habits. Children need time to learn how to brush and floss their teeth properly and they may have a hard time reaching their back teeth, which can increase the risk of cavities. Dental sealants act as an added level of protection, to help fight off the bacteria until the child can be taught good oral care habits.

There is no age limit for dental sealants. While they are most commonly recommended for children, adult patients can also benefit from the layer of protection. If a patient is suffering from the early stages of tooth decay, dental sealants may be the best choice. A dental sealant will protect the damaged area and help prevent further infection. Dental sealants should not be used as a substitute for traditional fillings, but could be an alternative if the damaged area is small enough and it is desirable to avoid other treatments.


The Procedure

Children are often afraid of the dentist and their parents may wonder if the benefits of dental sealants are worth the potential trauma.  The answer is yes, because there is no trauma involved. Placing dental sealants is a very simple, pain-free procedure. First, someone on the team will clean the tooth, or teeth, and then a gel will be placed directly on the top of tooth to prepare the tooth and then the sealant will be applied directly to the tooth. Once the sealant is in place, Dr. Willis will use a special light to harden the sealant and secure it in place.


The Recovery

Because it is such a simple procedure, it is also a very simple and routine recovery. Someone from our team will rinse the patient’s mouth out and then they will be free to go. The teeth may feel funny if a patient runs their tongue over the sealant, similar to how a filling feels, but that should be the only side effect and most patients won’t even notice their sealants.


Choosing Dental Sealants

Dental sealants can benefit the parents as well as the children because they know that their children’s teeth are protected. Choosing dental sealants gives young patients time to learn good oral health habits, while having an additional layer of protection, and gives their parents the peace of mind of knowing that their children have that extra level of protection.

Anyone in the Burke, Virginia area who wants to know more about dental sealants and whether they are the right choice for themselves or their children, should contact the office of Burke Dental and make an appointment for a consultation. Dr. James Willis or by calling our office at 703-978-6000.


We are located at 9006 Fern Park Drive Ste A, Burke, VA 22015

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