Dental sealants are an effective way to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. They’re a quick, painless procedure that can save you from costly restorative treatments down the road. But are they really worth it? Keep reading to find out more.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin, clear plastic layer that is applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and pre-molars. This plastic coating is designed to protect the teeth from decay and cavities by forming a protective barrier against harmful bacteria. The sealant adheres to the enamel of the tooth and helps keep food particles from getting stuck in the grooves and crevices, which can lead to decay.
Benefits of Getting Dental Sealants
#1. Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities
Sealants act as a barrier between food particles and the tooth enamel, which helps to keep bacteria out. This means that sealants can provide an extra layer of protection against decay-causing bacteria and acid. Additionally, sealants can also make it easier for your dentist to spot early signs of decay, allowing them to intervene sooner.
#2. Quick and Painless Procedure
Tooth sealants are a quick and painless process that can be done right in your dentist’s office. The process typically takes less than a minute per tooth, and the sealant is applied directly to the enamel of the tooth. It doesn’t require any drilling or anesthesia, making it an ideal choice for those looking to protect their teeth without undergoing more invasive procedures.
While the cost of sealants may vary, they are typically much less expensive than other restorative treatments such as crowns or root canals. As an added bonus, many dental insurance plans cover part or all of the cost of sealants, making them an even more attractive option for those looking to protect their teeth on a budget.
#4. Prevent Costly Restorative Treatments
By preventing decay and cavities, sealants can help save you from having to undergo more costly restorative treatments down the road. This is especially true for children, as sealants are most effective when applied early on before decay has had a chance to set in.
Good Candidate for Sealants
Anyone looking for an effective and cost-efficient way to protect their teeth from decay and cavities can benefit from dental sealants. However, certain people are particularly good candidates for the procedure.
- Children: Children are especially good candidates for dental sealants as they provide an extra layer of protection against decay and cavities. Sealants can be applied to baby teeth, as well as permanent molars and pre-molars that have come in by the time a child is around 6 years old.
- Adults With Deep Grooves and Fissures: Adults who have deep grooves and fissures on their permanent teeth are also good candidates for dental sealants. These vulnerable areas of teeth are more prone to decay since bacteria can easily get trapped in the crevices of these teeth. By applying a protective layer of sealant, it helps to keep food particles and bacteria out, reducing the risk of decay.
What To Expect During The Procedure?
Before beginning the application process, your dentist will usually clean and dry the teeth that are being sealed. They may also roughen up the smooth surface of the enamel to help aid in adhesion. Once this is done, they will apply a thin layer of liquid sealant material directly onto the teeth and use a special light to harden it. The entire process usually only takes a few minutes per tooth and does not require any injections or anesthesia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are tooth sealants safe?
Yes, sealants are entirely safe and have been used in dentistry for more than 40 years. The materials used in the sealants are FDA-approved and do not contain any mercury or other harmful substances. Additionally, since there is no drilling or anesthesia involved with the application process, it is a pain-free procedure.
How long do they last?
Most tooth sealants can last up to several years with proper care and maintenance. However, it is important to note that the protective layer may wear down over time due to normal wear and tear of your teeth. Your dentist will be able to assess the condition of your sealant during a regular check-up and reapply if necessary.
Are they worth the cost?
Studies have shown that sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities by up to 80%, making them a great investment in oral health. Although sealants do not last forever, they can be reapplied as needed to maintain their protective effects. For those at high risk of cavities, sealants may be a worthwhile investment in preventive care.
At-Home Practices to Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Here are some tips for maintaining your dental health at home:
- Practice good oral hygiene routine: The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily: Flossing helps to remove bacteria and food debris from between your teeth that brushing alone cannot reach.
- Limit sugar intake: Sugar can lead to tooth decay, so it is important to limit sugary snacks and drinks as much as possible.
- Rinse with mouthwash: Mouthwash can help reduce plaque buildup, freshen your breath, and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your mouth.
- Visit the dentist regularly: It is important to visit your dentist every 6 months for a regular check-up and professional cleaning. They will be able to assess the condition of any sealants you have and reapply them if necessary.
Schedule a Consultation With Us Today!
When it comes to protecting your teeth, prevention is always better than a cure. If you are considering dental sealants, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists. Depending on your individual situation may recommend other preventive measures such as fluoride treatments or dental crowns. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.