If your child’s dentist has told you they need sealants for their teeth, you might wonder what they are and how they work. This article explains everything you need to know about dental sealants and how they can protect your child’s teeth and smile.
According to the American Dental Association, sealants are plastic-like, flowable materials placed over the biting surfaces of back teeth to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are one of the most effective measures to prevent tooth decay in susceptible children and adults.
Not everyone needs dental sealants for their teeth; they are necessary for individuals with a higher susceptibility to developing dental caries. To understand this, we should first visualize the anatomy of the back teeth. Our back teeth have wide chewing surfaces that contain grooves and pits called fissures and pits, respectively. In some individuals, these pits and fissures are very deep. As a result, they have higher chances of food impaction in their back teeth and hence, are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay as brushing alone is sometimes insufficient to clean these surfaces.
That’s where dental sealants come in! The sealants are low-viscosity materials that flow over the biting surfaces of the teeth. As a result, there are lesser chances of food impaction in pits and fissures of the back teeth. That is why they’re called pits and fissure sealants.
Yes, dental sealants are highly effective. For example, a 2016 clinical study revealed that children and adolescents who received dental sealants had significantly lower incidences of tooth decay than those who did not. In addition, dental sealants are even more effective than fluoride varnishes.
Similarly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once applied, dental sealants prevent up to 80% of dental cavities for 2 years and up to 50% for up to 4 years.
The procedure for getting dental sealants is straightforward. First, your dentist will clean the chewing surfaces of your back teeth – the premolars and the molars. Afterward, they will place a gel on the cleaned tooth surface, which creates microporosities. Finally, the sealant is allowed to flow over and get bonded to the tooth surface.
Yes, dental sealants are safe! There have been some concerns regarding the harmful effect of Bisphenol-A (BPA) containing sealants. However, research has shown that the amount of BPA in dental sealants is too low to cause any untoward reaction or side effects.
With proper care and oral hygiene maintenance, dental sealants can last for a long time with good care and oral hygiene maintenance. According to the CDC, dental sealants can last even after 9 years of placement. However, in some cases, the sealant coating may fall off. But, there is no need to worry in case that happens as your dentist will replace it with another coating in no time!
Dental sealants are one of the most effective yet cost-effective caries-preventive options. Dental sealants are also covered by virtually all the major US insurance companies. Hence, you most likely, you won’t have to pay anything for your child’s sealant treatment.
In today’s world, the focus of dentists is on preventing dental problems than treatment. Therefore, dentists worldwide are taking measures to avoid the restoration of damaged teeth using dental fillings, which are costly and less tooth conservative. One such preventive measure is dental sealants.
So, if you want to keep your kids protected from tooth decay and ensure that they retain their adorable smiles lifelong, visit us today at Royal Dental to protect their teeth with dental sealants. Book an appointment today!