Month: January 2019

What Is Glass Ionomer Sealant

We all know how effective the dental sealants can be in in order to prevent tooth decay. With the passage of time, new materials are also joining the process. The newer discovery in this regard is the ionomer sealant.

Sealants are usually applied to the erupting molars because it is hard for the children to clean those teeth with the help of brushing. Sealants fill the pits and fissures on those teeth, preventing them from getting decayed at the depths of the pits.

Materials used in the glass ionomer sealants are pretty different as compared to the normal sealants. Moreover, the process of application is also not the same.

Glass ionomer

You may wonder what glass ionomer is. It is basically a mixture of several materials such as liquid acid, glass powder and water. Acid in the mixture reacts with the glass powder, and this process makes the material stick with the wet surface of teeth. It also allows the water to pass through. In case you are going to traditional sealants, you will need to get the surface dried out before the solution is applied. Glass ionomer sealant doesn’t need the water to be dried out. It also dissolves in the mouth’s moist environment. Therefore, it is not the permanent solution for sealing the teeth.

Sealing the teeth

The sealant applied to the teeth must form proper seal. If it doesn’t, the bacteria can pass through the open ways and cause decay to the exposed portions of the teeth’s surfaces. In case, you are going for the application of resin-based sealants, you will need to get your teeth etched, cleaned and thoroughly dried before the sealant is applied. Fulfilling these prerequisites is important and it can be quite challenging.

Glass ionomer sealant can form the seal in pretty good way when there is no way you can dry out the tooth’s surface to be sealed. Moreover, the application of these sealants is also helpful when the fissures are too deeper.

Fluoride release

The best thing about glass ionomer sealant is that it releases the fluoride, which can be pretty helpful in the strengthening of the tooth enamel. Therefore, the reduced longevity of glass ionomer sealants may seem like a downside but the process of dissolution actually results in the release of fluoride ions, which can be pretty helpful in the strengthening of your teeth.

If you think that you or your child requires dental sealants, you need to talk to your dentist in order to determine what kind of sealant you can go for.

Benefits of Sealing the Back Teeth

Maintaining dental health of children can be a challenge because they are naturally careless about it. One of the simplest ways to prevent their teeth from developing decay is to get their back teeth sealed. Back teeth have broader chewing surface which normally has pits and fissures on it. These pits and fissures can become a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Sealing these fissures mainly refers to the filling of sealants in them so that the bacterial buildup can be prevented in the area.

A few benefits of sealing the teeth are worth mentioning in this regard.

Application at early stage

Ideally, you need to get your children’s back teeth sealed at very early age. The permanent molars start erupting at the age of 5 – 7 years. This is the perfect time you can take your child to the dentist to get his newly erupted back teeth sealed. Second molars erupt at the age of 11 – 14 years. You can take your kids to the children to the dentist for sealant application once again. The process of application of sealants is quite painless; and it protects your child’s teeth against decay for years.

The sealing of pits and fissures

As mentioned above, there are pits and fissures on the surface of back teeth. These pits and fissures can be become home to bacteria that can further lead to tooth decay. These pits and fissures normally cannot be cleaned with brushing because bristles of toothbrush cannot reach in the depth of these fissures. When the sealant material is filled in the fissures and pits, they can no longer host bacteria. Hence, there is going to be no decay in the depths.

Avoiding the buildup of plaque

Since children do not have good sense about maintaining their oral hygiene, they are not going to brush their back teeth thoroughly no matter how well you teach them to brush. Thus, there is always the chance of building up of plaque on those back teeth. Getting those teeth sealed in the early stages can be quite helpful because this hardened sealant material is going to resist the buildup of plaque.

Prevention of several dental diseases

Since sealants protect tooth enamel from plaque which contains bacteria, the teeth are not going to be decayed. Remember, there are a number of dental health problems which tend to occur when you do not prevent the building up of plaque on the teeth. Some of those diseases may include:

  • Early gum diseases, also called gingivitis
  • Destruction of tooth enamel
  • Cavities

Better dental health

With the types of benefits sealants provide, you will be able to ensure better oral and dental health of your kids. However, you have to keep one thing in mind that application of sealants doesn’t eliminate the need of taking care of oral hygiene on daily basis. Moreover, you will have to make sure that you take your kids to the dentist twice in every year.