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Everything You Need To Know About Dental Sealants

Posted by Dr. Mark Mann

Apr 3, 2014 9:34:00 AM

15805132_mBy taking preventive measures to protect your teeth you can reduce the risk of tooth decay and other serious dental issues in the future. Dental sealants are a dependable and affordable treatment option that adds a thin layer of material over your teeth's chewing surfaces in order to protect their enamel. 

What Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are a preventive dental treatment that consists of a layer of protection over your teeth's biting surfaces. These sealants are made from a thin, plastic material that can be painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth in order to prevent decay. The material used is clear or white in order to blend in with the natural color of your teeth. They are often placed on pre-molars and molars since these teeth usually have deeper depressions and grooves which are more susceptible to the damaging effects of bacteria. These coatings bond with the tooth's natural enamel to create a protective shield.

Who Can Benefit From these sealants?

Children and teenagers are the most frequent candidates. Adults can also benefit from the treatment especially if their molars have deep grooves and pits, as long as they have no fillings. They are commonly applied after a child's permanent teeth erupt which usually occurs between the ages of 6 and 14. This way, any cavity prone areas can be protected to minimize the development of decay. At times, sealants are also used on baby teeth when there is a high potential for cavity development. 

How Are They Applied?

Dental sealants are a simple procedure that can be completed quickly and painlessly by your dentist or hygienist. Sealants are applied after your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned of surface debris. Next, the biting surfaces of the teeth are carefully dried using an absorbent material such as cotton. An acid solution is then applied to the teeth which roughens and conditions its surface to ensure a stronger bond between the sealants and your teeth's natural enamel. After this process the uncured sealant resin is painted onto the surface of the teeth using a small brush. The material cures while bonding with the tooth enamel and during this time a curing light may be used to speed up, and enhance, the bonding process.

How Long Will My Sealants Last? 

Sealants have a long lifespan and they can often last for up to 10 years. The materials they are created from will hold up well to everyday chewing habits. During your annual checkups your sealants will be carefully examined for any possible signs of wear or chipping. They can also be reapplied as necessary by your dentist or hygienist.

Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?

Many insurance plans now cover the costs associated with sealants. To determine if your insurance provider covers the treatment you can check your plan's details or call your insurance carrier directly to ensure that they are covered. If your insurance plan does not cover them you may want to invest in the procedure regardless since the initial cost is low. This is especially true when compared to the price of more invasive procedures that may be needed in the future because of tooth decay.

By choosing this preventive dental procedure you can be sure that you're doing your part to protect your teeth by shielding decay from your teeth and the damaging effects that it can cause.  Preventive treatments such as sealants will help to protect your dental health now and for many more years to come. Don't you agree that having dental sealants improves your dental health?

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The Mann Dental Care Blog features important topics regarding dental health. Over one-hundred dental care posts have been published, providing our readers with a great resource for timely news about dental care.

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