San Francisco preventive dental care for adults may include sealants

preventive dental care for adults may include sealants

Dental sealants are safe plastic materials that are used on the chewing surfaces of back teeth as a barrier against cavities. Although most people think that dental sealants are only for children, many San Francisco adults can benefit from this treatment as well. Those exhibiting deep fissures and grooves in their premolars and molars have a high risk of developing cavities. Treating these teeth with dental sealants can significantly reduce that risk.

Why seal the teeth at the back of the mouth?

Molars and premolars have deep grooves (fissures) and depressions (pits), and more than 80 percent of cavities begin there. This is where most chewing takes place, which gives them the greatest contact with food and the resultant residue. The natural valleys and hollows are difficult to clean effectively because the bristles on toothbrushes bend and they are too large to fit in the narrow fissures. There is less saliva flow over the molars, to clean them of plaque naturally. Additionally the tooth enamel is generally thinner in this area making it more vulnerable to bacteria.

How are sealants applied?

The process is quick, and essentially painless. Each tooth to be sealed is cleaned and a solution applied to kill any existing bacteria and prepare the surface for tight adhesion. The tooth is dried thoroughly and material may be packed around it to keep it dry. The sealant is applied to the surface of the tooth to flow into the fissures and pits, effectively sealing them. A curing light may be used to harden it. The bite is checked to ensure there is no interference in the way the teeth meet.

Are dental sealants effective?

The thin plastic film bonds to the surfaces of the teeth acting as a physical barrier to bacteria. They provide 100 percent protection in the areas they are applied as long as they remain tightly adhered to the teeth. Additionally, trials have found that they can prevent the progression of slight decay when applied in the early stages. The sealant blocks the nutrient supply to the bacteria causing the decay. The sealant remains effective unless the bond between it and the teeth is broken. Dental sealants can last for several years and they can easily be replaced as necessary.

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Dr. Leo Arellano and his outstanding team of dental professionals are dedicated to preventing dental issues and providing conservative but effective treatment for problems that do arise. Many residents of San Francisco and across the Bay Area enjoy optimal oral health thanks to the doctor and his team. Call 415-881-4343 today to schedule an appointment.


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