Dental sealants are a thin coating of plastic that dental professionals apply to teeth, which helps protect them from decay. They act as a protective barrier against bacteria and food particles that can cause cavities. Dental sealants are most commonly applied to permanent molars and premolars due to their grooves and pits, which make them more prone to plaque buildup. Parents need to know about dental sealants to make informed decisions about their dental health for themselves and their children. This blog will provide information on the basics of dental sealants, the process of getting dental sealants, how dental sealants work, the pros and cons of dental sealants, cost considerations and FAQs.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that dental professionals can apply to teeth to protect them from decay. They act as a barrier against bacteria and food particles that can cause cavities, primarily on molars and premolars, due to their grooves and pits, which make them more prone to plaque buildup. Dental sealants are transparent, meaning they’re not visible when applied. Generally, dental sealants last up to 10 years with proper oral care & regular dental visits.
How do dental sealants get applied?
Getting dental sealants is a quick process that typically takes about 10-15 minutes per tooth. The dentist begins by cleaning the tooth to eliminate debris and plaque buildup. Next, a dental etching solution is applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars & premolars. This helps create microscopic channels that allow for better adhesion of the dental sealant. The dental professional will apply the dental cement to these areas using a small brush or dental instrument. Finally, they’ll utilize a special light to harden and set the dental sealant material.
How do dental sealants work?
Dental sealants help protect teeth from decay by creating an invisible barrier between food particles and bacteria and the enamel surface of teeth. The dental sealant fills in any grooves or pits in teeth, which makes it difficult for bacteria and food particles to adhere to the surface. The dental sealant can also remind dental professionals that an area needs extra cleaning or attention due to its presence.
Pros and cons of dental sealants
Dental sealants offer many benefits, including protection from cavities and tooth decay, convenience (they’re quick and easy to apply), cost-effectiveness (they are more affordable than dental fillings or crowns), and they don’t require anaesthesia. However, dental sealants have some drawbacks. They may not last forever (usually, they need to be reapplied every few years) and aren’t a replacement for regular dental hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing.
The cost of dental sealants will vary depending on where they are applied (molars or premolars), how many teeth need to be treated, and the dental professional performing the procedure. Generally speaking, dental sealants can range from $50-$100 per tooth in most cases. Some dental insurance plans will cover the cost of dental sealants, so you must check with your insurance provider before scheduling an appointment.
- Are dental sealants safe?
A: Yes, dental sealants are entirely safe and non-toxic. They are made of a plastic resin material approved by the FDA.
- How long do dental sealants last?
A: Dental sealants usually last up to 10 years with proper oral care & regular dental visits.
- Who should get dental sealants?
A: Dental sealants are generally recommended for children aged 6-14, as they are more prone to tooth decay due to the grooves and pits in their molars and premolars. However, adults can also get dental sealants if needed.