Dental sealants can prevent cavities, especially among children. However, some people have some misconceptions about their effectiveness for oral health.
How do dental sealants protect your teeth?
Your dentist applies dental sealants on occlusal surfaces. These occlusal surfaces are your molars and premolars that come in contact with the teeth on your opposite jaw.
Chewing surfaces expose your teeth to wear and tear because of frequent motion. Hence, pit and fissure sealants protect your teeth.
The commonly used sealant materials are as follows:
- Glass ionomer cement
- Poly-acid modified resin
- Resin-modified glass ionomer
These materials have overlapping similarities and benefits. They may vary, but they achieve the same result: teeth protection for dental care.
What are the common misconceptions?
Here are five of the most common perceptions that are wrong about sealants:
Sealants can leak
Using the right technique in applying sealant and curing can ensure that it won’t leak. However, expect that it can weaken over time because of repetitive chewing motions.
Getting a few touch-ups is necessary to ensure that your sealant is in mint condition. You’ll need to visit your dental hygienist for these follow-up sessions.
They don’t work when applying them over initial caries on molars
You’ll benefit more from sealants when your dentist applies them on your molars than initial caries. Initial caries are lesions you can find on tooth surfaces that haven’t developed as cavities. Sealing tooth surfaces will prevent these lesions from progressing.
Your teeth will decay under the sealants
You are prone to plaque buildup when bacteria accumulate on permanent teeth. Brushing can remove plaque, but not on areas that are hard to reach, such as grooves and pits. Hence, sealing these nooks will prevent the deposit of food particles and bacteria on permanent molars.
Fluoride varnish works just like dental sealants for preventing caries lesions
Caries or cavities cause lesions on surfaces of teeth as a sign of tooth decay. Lesions appear first on the tooth surface and hollow the teeth out as they get more in-depth.
Fluoride varnish works in reducing caries for children. However, young patients who had sealants saw a 73% reduction in developing new ones. It shows that sealants can prevent further tooth decay much longer than fluoride varnish.
Levels of bisphenol A (BPA) can be dangerous to patients
Many plastic and resin products contain the dangerous chemical bisphenol A. You can find the same chemical in sealants, but you aren’t at risk of exposing yourself to hazardous BPA levels.
You are more exposed to BPA in handling receipts and through breathing air. In fact, you are 100 times more prone to dangerous levels of BPA as you breathe air.
Moreover, BPA present in foods and drinks is at 5800 nanograms. The amount is significantly high compared to the 0.09 nanogram you can find in sealants.
Schedule an appointment with your Markham dentist to know if dental sealants can work for your preventive dental treatment.