Dental Sealants Treatment Process

Dental Sealants Can Give You Stronger Teeth

The dental sealant treatment is a straightforward and painless process that helps prevent tooth decay and safeguard your teeth from further problems. Sealants are typically recommended during the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14, when the permanent teeth, including permanent molars and premolars, come in, replacing the baby teeth.

If you struggle with cavities, you may try dental sealants! Contact our dentist in Knoxville today by calling (865) 687-8670 to schedule an appointment.

young woman getting her teeth examined at the dentist

Dental Sealant Process

Preparing the Tooth Surface

The tooth surface must be thoroughly cleaned and dried before applying dental sealants. One of our skilled dental hygienists will use a toothbrush to remove any debris or plaque from the chewing surfaces of the teeth, ensuring the sealant adheres properly.

When the back teeth are the main focus, which is typically the case when applying sealants, the four-handed sealant placement technique is suggested for the best results. This method involves the dental hygienist working closely with our Knoxville dentist to swiftly and accurately apply the sealant material.

Applying the Acid Gel

The next step in the dental sealant process involves applying an acid gel to the tooth surface. This gel, typically phosphoric acid, roughens the tooth enamel, creating a stronger bond between the tooth and the sealant. Our dental hygienist carefully applies the gel to the enamel, ensuring it covers all angles and avoids reaching the dentin.

The tooth surface becomes microscopically rough following the application of the acid gel. This improves the dental adhesive’s adherence, promoting dental health. After the advised period for acid etching is complete, the acid gel should be rinsed off and the tooth surface dried.

Rinsing and Drying the Tooth

Next, we’ll do the following:

  1. Rinse the tooth surfaces to eliminate any etchant or debris.
  2. Thoroughly dry the tooth after applying the acid gel.
  3. Ensure the removal of any food particles that may have been missed during the initial cleaning.

To dry the tooth surface, we’ll use suction and air, preventing salivary contamination before applying the dental sealants. A well-dried tooth surface, especially the chewing surface, is crucial for the proper adhesion of the sealant material.

Sealant Application

With the tooth surface clean and dry, we can apply the sealant material. Precisely isolating tooth surfaces is a critical step in the process of applying sealant. This ensures there’s no saliva contamination.

The dental hygienist carefully applies the sealant material, filling the grooves and pits on the tooth surface. This creates a protective barrier that can last up to 10 years, shielding teeth from decay and ensuring long-lasting dental health.

Curing the Sealant With a Curing Light

The sealant material is then hardened using a curing light. Exposing the sealant to the curing light for a specific period activates the curing agents in the material and causes the sealant to harden and adhere to the tooth surface, forming a resilient protective barrier.

The length of exposure to the curing light may vary depending on the type of sealant and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Once the sealant is hardened, it serves as a long-lasting shield against tooth decay, ensuring the continued health and strength of your teeth.

young boy smiling during his dental visit

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the dental sealant process?

The dental sealants process usually takes about 30 minutes to apply in one appointment. You’ll be able to resume normal eating and activities after the appointment.

How long after a dental sealant appointment can you eat?

You can eat immediately after your sealant appointment, however, it’s best to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods to prevent chipping or erosion.

Take the Step Towards Protecting Your Smile Today!

By opting for dental sealants, you can take a proactive approach to maintaining your dental health, ensuring a bright and confident smile for years to come. Our Knoxville dentist is dedicated to helping you achieve the smile you’ve always desired. Schedule an appointment today by giving us a call at (865) 687-8670.