Are Dental Sealants Truly As Effective As Believed?

Are Dental Sealants Truly As Effective As Believed?

Mar 04, 2020

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings applied on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. The premolars and molars are the primary recipients of dental sealants that quickly cements into the depressions and grooves of the teeth to form a protective shield over the enamel of every tooth.

Brushing and flossing are effective methods for removing food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of the teeth. Unfortunately, they cannot get into every nook and corner to remove food and plaque. The tooth sealant can protect the vulnerable areas from tooth decay by sealing out plaque and food.

Who Should Be Getting Dental Sealants?

Children and teenagers are the best candidates for getting pit and fissure sealants because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions of their back teeth. However, adults without any decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from tooth sealants.

The Whitby dentist suggests that children should get a fissure sealant on the permanent molars as soon as they erupt. The sealants can protect the teeth during the cavity-prone ages of 6 to 14.

In some cases, the sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth especially when the teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Baby teeth have had an important role in holding the accurate spacing for the permanent teeth. Therefore it is essential to keep the teeth healthy to ensure they are not lost early.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Applying dental sealants is a simple and painless procedure. The dentist or dental hygienist will only require a few minutes for the application to seal the tooth. The following steps will be adopted by the dentist during the application.

The teeth to be sealed will be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Cotton or other material will be put around the tooth ensure it remains dry.

The chewing surfaces of the tooth are roughened up with an acid solution to help the sealant bond to the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. The tooth sealant is thereafter painted on the tooth enamel where it bonds and hardens. Dentists are also using ultraviolet light to help harden the sealant.

How Long Do the Dental Sealants Last?

Pit and fissure sealants can protect the teeth from decay for up to a decade. However, they need to be checked for chipping and wearing at regular dental checkups and the dentist you are visiting can replace the sealants if needed.

Are Dental Sealants Covered by Dental Insurance?

Many insurance companies are covering the costs of dental sealants but only for children below the age of 18. It is suggested that you check with your dental insurance provider to determine if sealants are covered under your plan.

Can Dental Sealants Prevent Tooth Decay Altogether?

The application of dental sealants in no way ensures that tooth decay will be prevented entirely. It is just a safety mechanism because children must continue to brush and floss regularly and also visit their dentist for regular checkups. They must stay away from sugary foods and beverages while bearing in mind that caring for their teeth requires them to be on their guard all the time. Despite the lower costs at which dental sealants are available many children from low-income family groups are not receiving them leading to cavities by almost 3 times higher than children with dental sealants. It is estimated that children from low-income households are 20% unlikely to have sealants than children who have them.

Sealants are technically sensitive to the placings and therefore need an experienced practitioner to apply them for best success rates. It is common to note children reporting lost school time because of tooth decay as it can interfere with eating, sleeping, and other activities they are accustomed to. Besides preventing cavities fissure sealants can also ensure the teeth remain intact.

The dentist in Whitby Ontario mentions that some disadvantages or potential problems with sealants also exist. The sealants may need to be reapplied if they chip, wear away or fall out. When replacing the sealant the excess material must be drilled down or remove with a scaler. The dentist also confirms not to have observed any adverse reactions to dental sealants with no reports appearing in any literature. Under the circumstances, it can be confirmed that fissure sealants are indeed essential for the teeth of all children.

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