Everything You Should Know About Dental Sealants

dental sealants

Everything You Should Know About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are generally used to prevent tooth decay. It is a thin plastic coat that is painted on to the surface of the teeth, specifically the chewing part, and forms a protective shield for the enamel. The purpose of the sealant is to ensure that food particles don’t easily get lodged in the nooks and crannies of yout teeth. While both brushing and flossing do this also, there are times when you don’t do either properly so particles remain and lead to bacteria build-up and decay.

Who Should Consider Getting Sealants?

Sealants help to prevent decay in the premolars and molars due to bacteria cultivation in the groves. Therefore, it is recommended for teenagers and children. Children are prone to cavities from 6 to 14, the sealant protects them from it. At times if children younger than 6 have deep grooves in their teeth, a dentist may recommend getting a sealant. 

How is Sealant Applied?

The application of sealants is painless and simple. Your dental hygienist can do it in a matter of minutes. The process starts with the cleansing of the mouth and teeth. The hygienist will perform a dental cleaning to have them prepped for the sealant. 

The teeth are then dried off and an absorbent material such as cotton is placed around them so the teeth remain dry. To help the sealant bond to the teeth, an acid solution is applied to the teeth after they are rinsed and dried off.

The sealant is then brushed on to the tooth enamel and it bonds and hardens to it. Your hygienist may also use a curing light to ensure it hardens properly. 

What is the Lifespan of Sealants?

Dr. Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, says that with proper care, sealants can effectively protect your teeth for up to 10 years. Your dentist can check up on their condition to ensure there are no chips or wear each time you visit them. 

Are Sealants Covered by Insurance?

Depending on your dental coverage, sealants can be covered in the insurance plan specifically for children under the age of 18. You can contact your dental insurance company to check if they cover sealants. 

Where to Get Sealants?

While the process of getting sealants isn’t complex, you still want to make sure you go to a dental clinic you can trust. The dentists in St. Petersburg, FL at 4th Street Family Dentistry can help you get the dental care you need. They have been serving the city of St. Petersburg for decades, helping individuals achieve their best smiles. 

What to Expect During a Dental Visit

What to expect during a dental visit - 4th Street Family Dentistry

What to Expect During a Dental Visit

It’s recommended that you visit your dentist in St. Petersburg, Fl, every six months for a comprehensive exam and cleaning. These visits are necessary for optimal oral health. In this article, we discuss what happens during these routine dental visits.

Your Routine Dental Checkup Visit

As already mentioned, this visit normally occurs every six months or at intervals recommended by your general dentist in St. Petersburg, FL. You can expect the following to take place at your next visit with 4th Street Family Dentistry.

The Professionals Who Will See You

You are likely to be treated by two professionals, a dental hygienist, and your St. Pete dentist. Our hygienist is the first professional who will see you. He or she will examine your gums and note down any parts of your mouth that need to be looked at more. The hygienist will also document any changes to medication that you are taking for any health conditions that you have. Then, they will talk to you about your brushing and flossing techniques. Your hygienist will then clean and polish your teeth thoroughly.  

Once those questions have been answered, your St. Pete dentist will come to see you. Dr. Brian Leeson will examine your oral structures and look into any concerns you or your hygienist had during the initial exam. He will also review how well the hygienist cleaned your teeth, and the dentist will conduct further checks, such as for oral cancer and any other disease. If any oral health problems are observed, Dr. Brian Leeson will make treatment recommendations and discuss them with you. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your oral health.

Teeth Cleaning

While you can keep the accumulation of plaque minimal by flossing and brushing at home, only a professional can clean your teeth and remove the tartar (hardened plaque) that inevitably builds up. Your hygienist uses a variety of metallic hand tools to clean your teeth thoroughly. Dental professionals recommend getting a dental cleaning every six months.

Teeth Polishing

Your hygienist at 4th Street Family Dentistry will then polish your teeth using a mild abrasive and fluoride. This leaves the surface of your teeth sparkling clean and free from calculus. 

Educational Information

The hygienist is also likely to give you further instructions on how you can take better care of your oral health at home. These instructions will arise from the observations made during the initial exam and the queries you raise as the hygienist is attending to you. The general care instructions are also likely to be brought up by Dr. Brian Leeson as he talks to you.

X-Rays

You may or may not need to have x-rays done during your routine dental visit to 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL. The decision to have x-rays done will depend on your dental history, the results of the oral exam and your level of cavity risk.

Treatment Recommendations

If the oral health exam reveals a dental health problem, Dr. Brian Leeson, a general dentist in St. Petersburg, will recommend the most appropriate measures to take to deal with that problem. For example, he may ask you to come back to the dental office to have cavities filled or he may refer you to a specialist (such as an orthodontist) for the care you need.

Undergoing a Comprehensive Dental Exam

Dr. Brian Leeson explains that patients normally undergo comprehensive dental exams when they visit a new dentist or it’s time for their annual checkup. This exam may include some of the following:

Soft Tissue Examination

The tongue, the roof, and the floor of your mouth, and the inside surface of the cheeks and lips constitute the soft tissues inside your mouth. The dentist in St. Petersburg will take a close look at these soft tissues. Additionally, Dr. Leeson will look at the back of your mouth to check for any lesions, growths, swelling, or cuts that could point to a potential oral health issue.

Gum Tissue

Dr. Brian Leeson, an emergency dentist in St. Petersburg, will pay special attention when examining your gums and other support tissues around your teeth. Any sign of gum disease, such as swollen or red gums, may prompt the St. Pete dentist to recommend immediate treatment or refer you to a specialist.

Occlusion

This refers to how well your lower and upper teeth come together when you close your mouth. Georgetown KY dentists at ThoroughDent Smiles explain that occlusion can be examined by asking you to bite down on a piece of wax so that the impression left is analyzed. Alternatively, the dentist in St. Petersburg may simply look at the way the teeth meet to ascertain whether you have any occlusion problems. 

Clinical Teeth Examination

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL will also look at each of your teeth during this comprehensive exam. The purpose of this close examination is to check for cavities or to confirm that any dental work (crowns, fillings, and dentures, for example) are defect-free. St. Pete dentists often use dental explorers to identify which sections of enamel are healthy and which bits are decayed.

X-Rays

You are also likely to have dental x-rays done during a comprehensive dental exam. These help the dental care professionals take a close look at your teeth and other structures, like the roots of the teeth. In this way, tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental health problems will be caught early. As you can see, the specific activities that will be focused upon during your oral exam will depend on whether it is a routine dental visit or a comprehensive exam visit. When was the last time you visited your dentist? If you have taken more than 6 months, call today to schedule an appointment at 4th Street Family Dentistry so that Dr. Brian Leeson and the team can examine you. You will be given treatment recommendations so that your oral health can be maintained at peak levels.