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Should You Get Dental Sealants?

Posted in Dental Care, General Dentistry, and Pediatric Dental

What are dental sealants?

A Dental Sealant is a thin layer of plastic like film that covers the chewing surfaces of the tooth. Most used on premolars and molars, it bonds to deep grooves in teeth protecting the enamel from decay. The product protects areas of the teeth where the normal toothbrush can’t reach by sealing them from plaque and food particles. The sealant protects each tooth like a shield protects an ancient soldier.

Dental Sealants
Notice the deep grooves in the molars shown here.

Dental Sealants for Kids

It is very important for a child to keep their baby teeth until they are naturally replaced by adult teeth. Keeping them full term helps shape a child’s jaw and provide adequate room for adult teeth. Therefore, children are good candidates for dental sealants. For that reason and because they are not always the best brushers, the impact of using dental sealants as a preventative measure can make a signifigant difference.

Most kids are given a dental sealant as soon as their permanent molars come in, this can help prevent cavities during adolescence when they are most prone to get them. If it’s noticed that a baby has teeth with deep depressions, a dental sealant may be used as a preventative measure.

How Sealants Are Applied?

Unlike a filling, dental sealants are simple and painless to apply. Dr. Mathews only needs a few minutes to apply the sealant and seal each tooth. A little preparation involves thoroughly cleaning your teeth and drying them. Then an acidic solution primes the chewing surface so that the sealant can bond well to the tooth. After the sealant is painted on it quickly hardens. A curing light (a bright blue light) can help speed up the hardening process and might be used.

Once completed the sealant can last up to 10 years! Dr. Mathews will check its condition during future visits because it can be chipped or wear in places. It’s not as durable as filling material and much thinner.

Does Insurance Cover It?

Because of its ability to protect against cavities, most insurance companies will cover the cost of dental sealants. Some however, put a limit on when they’ll pay for it, restricting it’s use after the age of 18. Always check first with your insurance provider if you have coverage or not. If you are over 18 and are prone to cavities you might consider proceeding without your insurance companies’ assistance as the future benefits may outweigh the cost.

Erbsville Dental

Erbsville Dental uses dental sealants on children and adults, but the decision to use it is according to the unique conditions of each person and their individual needs. The decision to have a sealant applied is yours to make. If you have questions about dental sealants, ask Dr. Mathews and make an informed choice.

Are there any risks involved with dental sealants? We will discuss that in our next post.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.