Dental Sealants in Charlotte, NC
As our teeth form, they often have narrow pits and grooves, especially on back teeth – molars and bicuspids. These narrow pits and grooves can be impossible to clean, allowing cavity causing plaque and bacteria to grow. A Dental Sealant is a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surface of teeth where the pits and grooves are. The purpose of the sealant is to eliminate the space in the grooves of the natural teeth where plaque can collect and cause cavities. However, the traditional method of applying sealants has a very high failure rate (over 90%)!
Failure of sealants results from a lack of a tight bond between the sealant and enamel that allows leak and actually leak cavity causing bacteria to leak under the sealant. The sealants can actually hide growing decay inside of a tooth. Every week we remove sealants placed by other dentists that have a large amount of decay under them. While these sealants were placed by well meaning practitioners, unfortunately, they often create bigger problems than they were designed to prevent.
Dental Sealant Failure: The Solution?
In most cases where sealants would have been used, we thoroughly clean the teeth under a dental microscope and fill the grooves of the teeth with a material much stronger than the traditional sealant material used. Under the microscope, we can better determine if decay has already started to grow. With the aid of the microscope, this decay can be removed with the need for anesthesia.
Traditional sealants should only be used in cases where we are buying time until a more permanent solution can be done. They can be used in very young children who need more time to be able to have a more permanent dental procedure performed or to protect the baby tooth until the permanent tooth comes in.
To see more about sealant failure, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BZ4qINGAvo