WHAT ARE SEALANTS?
Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, dental sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years. Our office will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.
How do sealants work?
In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny grooves between their teeth. When a sealant is applied, the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach and clean. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less chance that decay will start.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Any tooth that has characteristics that a sealant can correct – lessening the risk for developing decay – should be sealed. The most common teeth for a dentist to seal are a child’s “back” teeth, and of these teeth, the molars are the most common teeth to seal. The recommendation for sealants should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What is the procedure for placing sealants?
The procedure usually takes just one visit and can be a very straightforward process. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned and dried. The sealant is then applied to the grooves of the tooth and then hardened with a special blue light. The child can resume all normal activities directly after the appointment.
Do sealants lessen the need for brushing and flossing?
Definitely not! Sealants are only one part of the defensive plan against tooth decay, so it’s just as important for children to brush and floss their teeth.
How much do dental sealant treatments cost?
This treatment is quite affordable, especially when you consider the value of protection against tooth decay. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants. Our business team can tell you whether sealants are covered by your insurance carrier.