Dental Sealants: What Are They and Are They Necessary?

Dental Sealants: What Are They and Are They Necessary?

Oct 01, 2021

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings fixed on the depressions and grooves of the teeth to form a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Brushing and flossing are great dental habits for preventing cavities. However, at some point, your dentist may recommend dental sealants in Pasadena, TX, as a protective measure against cavities.

Dental sealants are coating, usually made of plastic, applied on permanent molars and premolars to protect them from decay. This is because the back teeth tend to trap food particles in the grooves and depressions of the teeth. A sealant will provide an extra layer of protection against bacteria attacks.

Why Are They Recommended?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children between ages six and eleven without sealants are twice more likely to develop cavities than those who have their teeth coated. It is also said that one in every three children gets carries at least once during their childhood. That’s why it is crucial to protect the teeth from cavities. This is because once they lose their permanent teeth it may affect their dental structure. Furthermore, they will need restorative treatments to restore their teeth.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Since children and teenagers are more likely to develop cavities, they are the most suitable candidates for sealants. However, a dentist in Pasadena, TX, may recommend sealants to adults without decay or fillings.

Although dental sealants are used on permanent teeth, the dentist may also fix them on baby teeth. Primary teeth play a vital role in holding the space for the secondary or permanent teeth. Keeping the healthy and free of decay is therefore crucial.

How Are They Applied?

The sealant application is fast, painless, and does not require anesthesia as no drilling or surgery is required. The steps include:

  • Cleaning. The dentist will begin the process by cleaning the teeth to be sealed to remove any buildup. She will then dry each tooth with cotton and separate them with an absorbent material to keep the teeth dry.
  • The surface of the teeth is roughened with an acid solution to make it easy for the sealant to bond. The teeth are rinsed and dried before the application is done.
  • The sealant is painted on the teeth, and it hardens immediately it comes in contact with saliva. But, laser light may be used to hasten the hardening process.

What Are the Potential Side Effects?

There have been a few concerns about Bisphenol A (BPA) levels in the sealants. This is a chemical found in toxins, and it is believed that it can cause health problems in children. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) reports that dental sealants are safe and do not cause adverse health effects.

How Long Do They Last?

Dental sealants can last for a decade after they are fixed, after which they are removed.
It is crucial to have the sealants checked regularly for cracks, wearing out, or chipping. The dentist can replace the sealants when a problem is detected. Remember, these plastic coatings wear out with time, which increases the risk of chipping or cracking.

What Other Preventive Measures Can You Use?

While dental sealants are effective in preventing cavities, it is not a final solution for preventing decay. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are recommended to prevent cavities and gum disease.

The dentist may also recommend fluoride treatment regularly. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, strengthens the enamel, making it less prone to decay. It also reverses mild cavities. Fluoride is found in food, water, dental products, and as a professional treatment. The dentist will use varnish for children as it reduces the chances of them swallowing it.

Are the Dental Sealants Covered by Insurance?

Most dental insurance providers cover sealants for children up to age 18. If you are getting sealants as an adult, you will have to pay for the treatments, and the cost can range from $30 to $ 60 per tooth. But, it is important to consult our dental team on the cost of the sealants.

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