Until recently, dentists filled and sealed cavities exclusively using a silver and mercury amalgam.
Unfortunately, these fillings (or restorations) often weaken teeth due to the large amount of the original tooth that has to be removed.Modern dentistry has increasingly turned to composite teeth fillings as a strong, safe and more natural looking alternative. Composite fillings utilize a tooth colored resin that is bonded to the tooth creating increased strength to the previously compromised tooth.
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.
More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
Reasons for Sealants:
- Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
- Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that has deep grooves or depressions.
- Baby teeth – If teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.