Sealant is a word that is heard quite often but what exactly it is? Dental sealant is a thin plastic resins used to paint the surface of the biting teeth. This is done to protect the teeth from decay and keeps the surface away from food particles and germs. It is ideal for molars and premolars because they have “fissures” on them which makes it vulnerable to tooth decay.At time the fissures are narrow that regular brushing and flossing cannot remove the plaque from there.
Plaque accumulation invites the bacteria and that results in acid leading to enamel. Fluoride usage prevents decay while the sealant blocks the grooves making it smooth and covers the fissures.
How Dental Sealants Can Prevent Tooth Decay
Perfect Candidate For Sealant
Teeth of children are quite susceptible to cavities are there are many grooves, bumps and children at times do not brush that thoroughly. These fissures are the most problematic area for kids and the most cavity prone years are from the age of 4 to 17.
The difficult part is that floss cannot reach there and it is not just the kids but even adults can benefit from dental sealants. It is ideal to get sealant on the permanent molar, first molar appears at the age of 6 and second at around 12. The sealant can be applied as soon as the teeth erupt without giving them a chance to decay.
How Is Sealant Applied?
Dental sealant is generally applied on baby tooth as soon as they erupt and the procedure is repeated at regular internals. The procedure is quite easy and painless where the dentist or the hygienist takes few minutes to apply the sealant on the molars and premolars. The tooth that needs to be sealed is etched with mild acid and this is done to create a retention between the teeth and the sealant.
It is then washed thoroughly and air dried after which the liquid coat of sealant is painted on the fissures.The color of the sealant is natural white which matches well with the natural color of the teeth. The last procedure is the use of high intensity light to activate the sealant to harden.
How Long Does A Sealant Application Last For?
Sealants can protect your teeth from decay if once applied up to 10 years, a reasonable update would be up to 4-6 years. It doesn’t come with a guarantee and need to be regularly checked using the dental visits and can be re-done of needed.
Would You Still Need Fluoride Once You Get Dental Sealants?
Of course yes, fluoride act differently in preventing decay and sealants shouldn’t be considered as a replacement. It is ideal to use fluoride in the form of toothpaste, in community water supply and mouth rinse, it can work in combination with the sealant to prevent decay. Sealant is applied just on the fissures while fluoride protects all surfaces of the tooth.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of sealant application is comparatively less to other procedures to prevent cavities and it last for years to come. Approximately $45 that too without any pain and discomfort. Many insurance companies cover the cost in the policies so before you choose a dentist make sure that they are covered under the dental insurance carrier for this procedure.