Every person has certain anatomic features. Some children have permanent molars with very thin and deep grooves that, even with the most thorough and exceptional at home oral hygiene, will still develop cavities. Why does that happen? Simply because the grooves are too thin and too deep for the bristle of the toothbrush to physically reach inside of them.
A common treatment recommended in these cases are dental sealants that are meant to block and seal the deep grooves in these teeth where bacteria and food can accumulate that cause a cavity.
How is it done?
The procedure is simple, the dentist or hygienist will clean the tooth of any debris and impurities, and a thin liquid type resin is placed inside of the groove (similar to a dental filling). Once placed, the grooves are now sealed – the bacteria cannot penetrate them anymore and the bristles of the toothbrush can now clean every area.
How are sealants different than fillings?
They are really not much different. Through the years, various new sealants have been introduced to the market that tried to eliminate several steps like gluing etc but they seem not to work as well and we find that without these crucial steps, bacteria seem to seep under the sealant and continue to develop decay.
At Stouffville Smiles Dentistry, our sealants are what is professionally referred to as a preventive resin restoration. We clean the grooves where the sealants will be placed, apply glue and apply a thin flowable filling material to completely seal and close off access to these deep grooves.