Wouldn’t it be nice if your teeth had a clear, durable shield to protect them from decay and damage? Dental sealants are just that—a thin, plastic shield that can help to prevent cavities. Dental sealants are composed of a resin-based plastic material that is painted onto teeth, providing a custom, invisible layer of protection for the patient. Modern dental sealants are cured by visible light and contain fluoride, simplifying the application process and protecting the teeth. Dental sealants are also inexpensive, typically starting at around $35 per tooth for uninsured patients. However, since they are a preventive measure, most dental insurance companies cover sealants, which can reduce the cost even more.
Dental Sealants Can Benefit Anyone
Dental sealants aren’t just for young children. Older kids, teens, adults, and even senior citizens can benefit from dental sealants. Here are just a few of the ways sealants can help you and your family:
You never know how well your child is brushing their teeth, which is why sealants are so important. In addition to creating a barrier between your child’s natural tooth and the food they eat every day, sealants also even out the hills and valleys on the surfaces of molars, making it easier for your child to get their teeth clean.
Sealants can also be applied to teenagers’ teeth to prevent damage before or after receiving orthodontic care. Because brushing and flossing can be more difficult during this time, sealants can help to prevent damage while your child’s teeth are being straightened.
Some adults have molars with steep pits and grooves, which can attract food grime and lead to decay. In these cases, sealants can be used to even out the surface, make your teeth easier to clean, and prevent further damage. Sealants might also be recommended if your teeth are especially soft or susceptible to decay.
Mobility issues can make it difficult for seniors to brush and floss properly, which is why sealants can help. Sealants can make it easier to get the teeth clean, since grime doesn’t stick as easily to the smooth surface of sealants.
The Process Of Having Sealants Applied
The process of having dental sealants applied is completely painless, and can be completed during your next regular dental cleaning or checkup. To start, the teeth that will have the sealants applied will be thoroughly cleaned, flossed, and polished. After the teeth are dried, an acidic solution, called Etch, will be applied to the teeth. This solution roughens the surface of the teeth on a microscopic level, so that sealants can adhere properly. After the Etch is rinsed away and the teeth are dried thoroughly, the sealant material is painted directly onto the teeth. The sealant bonds to the enamel, and sometimes a special light is used to help the sealant to harden.
Care For Sealed Teeth
As soon as dental sealant is cured, you can eat and drink like normal. With proper care and cleaning, dental sealants can last as long as 10 years. However, just like your normal teeth, you should try to avoid chewing hard foods, ice, and sticky candies with the teeth that have been sealed. Sealants have been shown to be 100% effective at preventing decay when the sealant remains intact and undamaged.
Do dental sealants sound like something that could benefit you or someone in your family? Make an appointment today to find out! Dr. AlWazzan can carefully examine your teeth and talk with you about the benefits and drawbacks of dental sealants. We are currently accepting new patients, and we look forward to serving your dental needs.