Dental SealantsHighly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, 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, 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.
Some commonly asked questions about Sealants are:
Do sealants work?
In a word, yes. One study found that 95% of children tested that had sealants were cavity-free after five years. On top of that, sealants are quick, painless, and last for years. We recommend sealants for their clear preventive properties and for economy. Sealants are simply the best bargain there is in dentistry.
Why get sealants?
The most important reason for getting sealants is to avoid tooth decay. Fluoride in toothpaste and in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth, but back teeth need extra protection. Sealants cover the chewing surfaces or deep groves of the back teeth and keep out germs and food. Having sealants put on teeth before they decay will save time and money in the long run by avoiding fillings, crowns or caps used to fix decayed teeth.
Who should get sealants?
Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in before decay attacks the teeth. The first permanent molars come in between 5 and 7 years old, while the second permanent molars arrive between 11 and 14 years old. If there are other teeth with deep pits and grooves, they should also be sealed to prevent decay. Teenagers and young adults who are prone to cavities may also benefit sealants.
Does insurance pay for sealants?
Some dental insurance programs pay for sealants. Check with your insurance company for details.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants can last up to 10 years. But they need to be evaluated at regular dental check-ups to make sure they are not chipped or worn away. The dentist or dental hygienist can repair sealants by adding more sealant material.