What it is:
A sealant is a material that is applied to teeth where decay most often occurs which are the back of the teeth that have groves and pits that are hard to clean. It bonds to the tooth and protects teeth from plaque and acid. Most often children get sealants but adults can get sealants also.
- Dr. Zaugg will first clean the teeth that will be sealed. This helps the sealant bond properly. Dr. Zaugg will use a small brush and pumice (a gritty paste) to clean out the groves of the teeth.
- Dr. Zaugg will then condition the tooth’s surface. This is done by spreading “etching” gel over the area of the tooth that will be sealed. This “etching” gel prepares the tooth’s surface so that the sealant will bond to it. Dr. Zaugg uses a small brush to apply the gel.
- After the gel is applied, Dr. Zaugg will then allow it to sit for 20-60 seconds before rinsing it off. After rinsing the gel off, Dr. Zaugg will use the air syringe to dry the tooth. It is important for the tooth to remain dry after being conditioned.
- Dr. Zaugg then applies the sealant to the groves of the tooth via a mini syringe.
- After the sealant is applied, Dr. Zaugg uses a “curing” light to set (harden) it.
- After the sealant has been set, Dr. Zaugg will evaluate the sealant to make sure it is fully hardened and that all the groves have been filled. He will also check the bite and make any adjustments if necessary.
Sealants help prevent tooth decay in areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. They can last several years before they need to be redone.