Dental sealants are a safe and effective method used by most dentists to prevent tooth decay in both adolescents and adults. A dental sealant generally consists of a special plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth, usually the back teeth. While fluoride toothpastes and rinses can protect the smooth surfaces of your teeth from decay, your back teeth have more pits and crevices where food can settle. Your back teeth need extra protection. This coating helps protect your back teeth from the plaque, tartar, food particles and bacteria that can settle into places where it is difficult for toothbrushes to reach. For more information on dental sealants and how they can help protect your teeth from tooth decay, as well as who may benefit from dental sealants, read our handy guide below.
What are the benefits of dental sealants?
Dental sealants act like an invisible shield for your teeth. Every time you eat, food particles can settle into the grooves of your teeth and breed bacteria. These bacteria can cause cavities, tooth decay, and a number of other dental health issues. Dental sealants protect your teeth and prevent this from happening. Having a dental sealant applied is an excellent way to provide additional protection when used with good oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing and flossing.
Dental sealants are an excellent way to protect the teeth of children and adolescents from the effects of tooth decay. Children often rush through brushing their teeth and can miss food particles that have become caught. This can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems that require expensive treatment. Having a dental sealant put in place can protect your child’s teeth and keeping them in better shape for the future.
It is important to understand that dental sealants cannot take the place of regular oral hygiene measures. You will still need to brush and floss your teeth regularly, as well as maintain your regular schedule of dental checkups, cleanings, and fluoride treatments. While dental sealants can provide added protection for your teeth, it is not a substitute or replacement for these important measures.
What is involved in receiving a dental sealant application?
Applying a dental sealant to your teeth is actually a very simple and completely painless process. Your dentist will first clean your teeth and perform a thorough examination. The teeth to be sealed are then dried and cotton is placed around them to keep them dry throughout the process. Then, a special gel will be applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth which roughens them slightly in order to prepare them for the sealant. This gel will be rinsed off, and your teeth will be dried. The dental sealant will then be painted onto your teeth and allowed to harden. In some cases, your dentist may use a special light to help cure the sealant. The sealant is clear and invisible, and the application procedure is completely painless. If cared for correctly, a dental sealant can last between five and 10 years.
Can both children and adults benefit from dental sealant applications?
Typically, children should wait to have a dental sealant applied until they have their full set of permanent teeth, which is usually around six years of age. The dental sealant should be applied as soon as possible after the molars have just broken through the gums. This is the best time for the sealants to be used to prevent early tooth decay.
Adults can also benefit from dental sealants, particularly if they suffer from dental issues such as frequent cavities (one every year or every other year), dry mouth, or other dental issues. The dental sealant can help ensure that your teeth remain healthy and bright for many years.
How much do dental sealants cost?
Dental sealants are a very inexpensive and cost-effective treatment. Many insurance companies cover the cost of dental sealants, as having dental sealants place can help prevent the need for more expensive dental treatments later.
If you are wondering whether you or your child would make a good candidate for having a dental sealant applied, Kenneth Hill, DDS can help. Call our office today at (702) 897-7267 to schedule a consultation appointment. Our friendly and experienced staff can address any concerns or answer any questions you might have.