If you are wondering what dental sealants are, you can think of them as simply a liquid that is applied to the teeth. They can be slightly tinted, clear or white. When applied, the sealant will harden and provide a protective plastic coating that is designed to create a smoother tooth surface and reduce cavities. One of the greatest things about dental sealants is that they do not affect the appearance of your teeth.
If you still have difficulty understanding this type of treatment, another way to look at it is to imagine it as varnish that protects a wood floor. In addition, dental sealants are usually placed on the surfaces of back molars that are permanent. If deemed necessary by the dentist, he or she will use sealants to seal out unwanted food particles and plaque.
When are dental sealants needed?
Dental sealant treatments are not to be confused with fluoride treatments. While they may seem similar, sealants are actually semi-permanent protective coatings. So when does your child require dental sealants? Sealant applications for children can begin as soon as their molars erupt. The first is expected to erupt around the age of 6 and the second around the age of 12. Your Franklin Dentist, Dr. Saadi specializes in the application of dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay in your child.
On a side note, did you know that adults can benefit from dental sealants too? Yes, if they do not have cavities or fillings. In addition, individuals with a history of enamel defects, inferior plaque control, and deep pits can also benefit greatly from this treatment.
The benefits of dental sealants
One of the biggest benefits of getting sealants is that the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth will not retain small particles of bacteria and food – all thanks to the smoother tooth surface! This way, acids cannot form from leftover food particles and your child’s mouth stays cleaner. As these sealants have protective properties, they can be applied onto teeth with rougher surfaces and protect the pits or grooves from potential decay. Another benefit of the sealant is that it prevents cavities and reduces the need for unnecessary filling and drilling of damaged teeth.
Expect a hassle-free experience
You can rest assured that the process of applying sealants is not uncomfortable at all. So how does it work? First, your child’s teeth will be cleaned and fully dried before a gel is applied. The gel is needed to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. Once done, your child will rinse away the gel before the sealant is applied. A light source is then used to cure the sealant and make sure it is semi-permanent.
he great thing about sealants is that they last a long time, which is between five to ten years. After the sealant treatment is completed, you must ensure that your child adheres to a proper dental care regime – flossing and brushing. If necessary, our dentists will also provide fluoride treatments to further protect and strengthen your child’s teeth.
How durable are these sealants?
When we say that dental sealants last a long time, we do not disappoint. They can last up to a decade! However, we still recommend that you send your child for regular check-ups to ensure that none of the sealant have prematurely worn away or chipped. If we discover that a sealant becomes damaged, do not fret as we can easily remove the existing one and replace it with a new one. What’s more, the cost of getting sealants for your child can be covered by most insurance companies at our dental clinic. However, you should check with your personal dental insurance carrier to be 100% sure.