Protecting Teeth for the Future
Sealants are an ideal prevention tool for kid’s teeth protection
What is it and when is it appropriate?
- A sealant is a tough material that sticks or bonds to tooth enamel. Sealants are clear or tooth colored and are painted on to the tooth surface, sealing the tooth surface and any pits, grooves, and chewing surfaces against decay.
- The process is entirely pain free.
- Sealants are generally applied to children’s permanent back teeth, and can be used for adults in certain situations.
What are the benefits?
- Sealants are an excellent way to protect chewing surfaces of teeth from decay. They are an excellent financial investment (prevention), as opposed to treating decay after it has started.
- Sealants are not permanent, they last about 5 years with normal wear, they can wear off or chip off earlier in certain instances. Sealants protect chewing surfaces, not the spaces between teeth and it does not prevent gum disease. Regular home care and dental visits are still necessary.
What is the procedure?
- It is fast and easy. No anesthesia is involved.
- The tooth is first cleaned.
- Cotton is placed around the tooth so it can be kept dry. A solution is put on the tooth to condition the surface slightly.
- The tooth is then rinsed and dried.
- The sealant is applied with a special brush and a special light is placed on the sealant for a few seconds to allow the sealant to harden.
- That’s it!
Common Concerns and Questions
Should sealants be placed on baby teeth?
Generally, it is not necessary to do sealants for baby teeth. Baby teeth are not as deeply grooved as permanent teeth. If the child is particularly susceptible to decay, sealants may be recommended.
How much do sealants cost?
Sealing one tooth is a fraction of the cost of one simple filling. Having sealants put on healthy teeth now will save you money in the long run by avoiding fillings and crowns later in life. Most good insurance policies pay for sealants at or near 100% on molars only. Check with your insurance company for details.