As a patient, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest innovative dental treatments. New ones are constantly coming online to help protect your teeth and beautify your smile. Although dental sealants have been around since the 1970s, they are just now becoming popular in certain parts of the country. Sealants can be a powerful ally to help you and your family prevent cavities and preserve the function and appearance of your teeth.
Sometimes, simply practicing basic dental care at home is not enough. This is particularly true when you find it difficult to reach some parts of your teeth while brushing and flossing at home. Many patients find it difficult to reach the back teeth where their molars and premolars are located. These teeth also tend to have more hiding spots for bacteria.
A dental sealant is simply a type of plastic coating that we apply onto the teeth to protect them from tooth decay. This material will provide a thin covering that is the same color as surrounding teeth. The sealant will cover every tooth, seeping into any nooks and crannies that could provide safe harbor for bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Among children, 90 percent of cavities develop in the molars and premolars. Studies have shown that dental sealants reduce cavities in these teeth by about 80 percent for up to two years. Additional protection is provided for up to four years, preventing 50 percent of cavities during that time. Dental sealants have even been known to provide some degree of protection against tooth decay for up to 10 years.
Even though dental sealants are typically recommended for kids, they can also be a good idea for adults. Tooth decay does not play favorites among age groups. So sealants can prevent the development of minor cavities for adults as well.
Receiving dental sealants is a simple and comfortable process. We begin by thoroughly cleaning and drying the tooth to be sealed. Next, we apply a special solution to this tooth to ensure that the dental sealant will adhere to it. The next step is rinsing and drying the tooth again. We then carefully paint the dental sealant onto the chewing surfaces of the treated tooth. Finally, we will use a special light to bond the dental sealant to your tooth.
Some insurance plans provide coverage for dental sealants. Check your insurance benefits summary to see if your plan contains coverage for sealants.
Getting dental sealants to prevent cavities can definitely save you some time, expense and discomfort down the road, although they are not designed to replace basic brushing and flossing.
The best way to determine if you or a family member would benefit from dental sealants is to contact Boulevard Dental and schedule an appointment today.