What are sealants?
Tooth sealants are a plastic which a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of preventing the development of decay.
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. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, decay is much less likely to develop.
How long do tooth sealants last?
The longevity of sealants can vary. Sealants which have remained in place for three to five years are considered successful, however, sealants can last much longer. It is not uncommon to see sealants placed during childhood still intact into the adult years. Our team will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Any tooth with characteristics which a sealant can correct should be sealed. The most common teeth for a dentist to seal are a child’s back teeth, and of these teeth, the molars. The recommendation for sealants should be considered on a case by case basis.
What is the procedure for placing sealants?
Generally, the procedure takes just one visit. Placing dental sealants can be a very easy process. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned and dried. Then, the sealant is applied to the grooves of the teeth and then hardened with a blue light. The sealant is then buffed down. Your child may resume all regular eating and drinking immediately after application.
How important are brushing and flossing after a sealant has been applied?
Brushing and flossing are just as important after sealants have been applied. Sealants are only one aspect of preventing tooth decay.
Are sealants expensive?
This treatment is quite affordable, especially considering the value of preventing decay. Most dental insurance cover sealants. Check with your insurance company about your child’s coverage.