Who Should Get Sealants?
Children and teenagers are the best candidates for sealants due to the possibility of tooth decay in the crevices and grooves of the premolars and molars. Generally, children should have the sealants placed on permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come into their mouth. If the sealants are placed, they can protect the teeth throughout the cavity-prone years. In rare cases, dental sealants may be placed on baby teeth when baby teeth have extremely deep depressions and grooves. We know that baby teeth play an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it is important to keep the baby teeth as healthy as possible.
What is a sealant?
A sealant is a plastic material which is applied to the surface of the back, chewing molars, to cover the deep grooves and crevices. The sealant protects the tooth’s enamel from the damaging plaque and acids by helping to “seal out” the decay.
How is a sealant applied?
Sealants are quickly and easily applied in our office. Applying the sealant to the teeth is a painless procedure and the entire process only takes a few minutes per tooth. The typically process is:
1) The teeth are cleaned by one of our hygienist.
2) To help the sealant adhere to the tooth’s surface, an acid solution is placed on all of the chewing surfaces.
3) The teeth are rinsed with water and dried
4) The sealant material is applied onto the tooth enamel, where the sealant will bond to the tooth and hardens. Often, a special light is used to help cure or harden the sealant.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants are able to protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years. It is important to have your child’s sealants checked for chipping or wearing during routine dental check-ups. It is usually not necessary but sealants can be replaced if needed.
Do my benefits cover the cost of sealants?
Currently, many benefit companies cover the cost of sealants. We will be happy to check with your dental benefit company to determine if sealants are covered under your plan.