Brushing and flossing are effective means for preventing tooth decay, but even the most diligent oral hygiene habits can miss deep grooves on the surface of teeth. Dental sealants are a preventative solution that places a thin, protective plastic coating over the surface of teeth to prevent bacteria from attaching to the enamel. While most often recommended for children, sealants can also help adult patients who are prone to cavities.
Dr. Thomas Zarger, who has practiced dentistry for over 30 years, can place sealants during your routine dental exam at his Knoxville, TN, dental practice, which also serves Maryville and Oak Ridge.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants have a long and proven track record of preventing cavities. Cavities form as the result of plaque and tartar buildup. As bacteria feed off food particles in these areas, the microbes release acids that demineralize and eventually erode the surface of the enamel. The deep crevices of your molars are particularly vulnerable to this process of decay. Dental sealants prevent this accumulation of plaque and tartar on the surface of your teeth by serving as physical barriers.
Patients who have dental sealants placed at our Knoxville dental practice can benefit from:
- Reduced risk of cavities
- Quick and affordable treatment
- Pain-free and non-invasive procedure
- Lower longterm savings
- Immediate protection
- Effective treatment at any age
- Low risk for side effects
Am I a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are an effective preventive treatment for our Knoxville patients no matter what their stage of life. However, while dental sealants are an option for any of our patients, individuals who have risk factors for tooth decay should especially consider this treatment. In particular, children ages 14 and under are the most common candidates because they are more prone to developing cavities.
However, an adult may be at higher risk of developing tooth decay if they:
- Eat foods and drinks that are high in sugar
- Have dry mouth
- Frequently snack throughout the day
- Have crowded teeth
- Lack proper oral hygiene habits
- Do not brush their teeth often
- Experience frequent heartburn
During your routine dental cleaning and exam at our Knoxville dental practice, Dr. Zarger will let you know if you are a good candidate for dental sealants.
Dental sealants are a proven treatment for preventing tooth decay.
A Look at the Procedure
Receiving dental sealants is a highly affordable treatment and can be completed in just minutes during your routine visit to our office. First, Dr. Zarger will clean the surface of your tooth. Once all debris has been removed, he can apply a special etching compound to the enamel. By creating microscopic scores on the surface of the tooth, this substance allows the dental sealant bond tightly with the surface of your tooth.
After applying the sealant to the tooth, Dr. Zarger may use a special light to dry and harden the plastic. Once Dr. Zarger determines that the sealant does not interfere with your bite, your treatment will be complete. In order to make sure that the sealants are completely dried, patients are asked to refrain from eating or drinking for 30 minutes following the procedure.
Schedule Your Dental Sealant Treatment Today
Dental sealants are a proven treatment for preventing tooth decay. To schedule your or your child's next visit to our dental practice, please contact our office online or call (865) 693-7631.