Dentist San Antonio
Teeth can have areas that are difficult, if not impossible, to clean. The structure of our enamel is great for chewing, but can sometimes have overhangs and pits where food and plaque can become stuck, meaning brushing alone can’t help. At Joshua Austin, DDS MAGD FACD, we promote dental education and preventive tools to help our patients have a healthier smile. The application of dental sealants to both patients at higher risk of developing disease, or in areas where we see greater risk in teeth, increases our patients' success in oral health.
Our mouths play an extremely important role in our daily lives. They allow for the intake of food and drink, they allow us to express ourselves verbally, and we use them to breathe. These continuous tasks also means that we are constantly taking in bacteria, including disease causing bacteria. There are many ways we fight this bacteria including saliva, drinking water, and oral hygiene steps such as brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings at our office. Even with this, there are still areas that can be missed. Dental sealants can help protect these areas, significantly reducing the likelihood of developing tooth decay and infection.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants is the application of a varnish material to areas of your teeth that are vulnerable to disease. This generally includes the chewing surfaces of molars where the design of the enamel includes deep pits, or overhangs of enamel where food can get stuck. This preventative step can significantly reduce the chance of decay by placing a barrier between the enamel and debris.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
The application of dental sealants is a pain free, quick treatment performed in our office. We begin with identifying the areas of your enamel that are at high risk. We then clean the area and apply a light acidic wash that will roughen the enamel just enough to allow for better adhesion. The sealant varnish is applied with a small brush. There are no needles or drilling for this treatment, though some patients may require some preparatory work before sealants can be placed. The sealant varnish is then dried or hardened in place with a blue light. Your sealants should remain in place for many years but we will check their status at every checkup appointment.
Can I Have Dental Sealants?
The dental sealant material is safe for all patients, and anyone can ask if we feel it would improve their oral health. In general, we try to recommend dental sealants to all of our patients that we think will benefit, including:
||Adolescent: We recommend dental sealants to all of our young patients after they have grown their adult molars. We understand that adolescents are still in the learning phase of their oral health and we can help them navigate this time by preventing oral disease in vulnerable areas.
||Health Ailments: We recommend dental sealants while navigating many health problems. There are a variety of medications and health disorders that can cause a decrease in saliva production putting you at higher risk of decay. We can assist you in protecting your teeth with sealants.
||Physical Disability:We recommend dental sealants to patients dealing with a variety of physical problems. Whether your physical disability prevents adequate brushing, or if you are just going through something that takes your time and attention away from considerations in your oral health, we want to help. We want to help you have good oral health and are happy to assist you with the application of dental sealants.