What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are used to provide protection to our teeth from decay and cavities. The sealant material is made out of a thin plastic coating. This coating quickly bonds to the depressions and grooves of the teeth. This material is painted on each tooth and it creates a protective shield from bacteria and plaque.
Brushing and flossing at home helps to keep plaque off of our teeth, but it is hard to reach all of the food particles from the tooth’s surface. Sealants last up to 10 years or longer, and help protect a child’s premolars and molars once they erupt. Typically most insurance companies provide coverage for sealants each year.
Who can benefit from Dental Sealants?
Children as well as adults can benefit from dental sealants. Over 43 percent of children between the ages of 6 to 11 have dental sealants, and they help to prevent cavities. Dental sealants are safe and durable, and last for years. Children benefit from dental sealants during the cavity prone years, and adults that do not have much decay or many fillings can also benefit from sealants.
How are sealants applied?
Applying dental sealants is simple and the process only takes a few minutes. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned before they are sealed. Each tooth is dried to ensure the sealant adheres properly. Next, an acid type solution is placed on the chewing surface to roughen the teeth. This rough surface helps the sealant material adhere. The sealant material is painted onto each tooth, and then a light is used to cure the sealant. This helps the sealant to harden on the teeth.
During your regular dental exam in our office, we will always check your sealants for chipping or wear and tear. It is important to make sure the sealants remain in good condition.
If you are interested in finding out more about dental sealants and how you or your family can benefit from them, contact our office to schedule an appointment.