All teeth, no matter where they are located in your mouth, can succumb to decay and cavities. However, molars in the back of your mouth are particularly at risk because they contain main deep grooves and crevices in which bacteria, plaque, and debris can reside and start eating away at the enamel. One of the easiest and best ways to prevent this process is with the application of dental sealants. At Knoxville Smiles at Malone & Costa Dentistry in Knoxville, TN, children and adults alike can receive this preventive treatment to protect their teeth from damage due to decay.
How dental sealants work
While many people think of dental sealants for kids, adults can also benefit from this treatment! In particular, if you have very deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of your molars, it can be difficult to fully clean all of the food particles and plaque out of these areas with normal toothbrushing. Dental sealants create a protective shield to help prevent acid and bacteria from lurking in these areas and penetrating through the dental enamel, where they can lead to cavities and other problems. Dental sealants are:
- Quick to apply
What to expect
Dental sealants are typically placed on permanent molars after they have erupted. The process for placing sealants is so fast that we can usually do it right after your normal preventive cleaning. After your teeth are clean, we thoroughly dry the teeth that will have sealants applied and then we apply a solution that helps prepare the surface of the tooth so the sealant will form a strong bond with the tooth. Then, we place the sealant solution onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. It dries quickly and then we will check your bite and make any adjustments to the shape of the sealants as needed. Most sealants can last for 10 years or longer, and their cost is often covered by dental insurance.
To learn more about child or adult tooth sealants and whether they are right for a member of your family, call Knoxville Smiles at Malone & Costa Dentistry today! Our office is conveniently located near the Powell, Farragut, Seymour, Maryville, Oak Ridge, and Karns communities and can be reached at (865) 426-1776.