Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, dental sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.
Dental Sealants FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are sealants?
We bond a sealant, a thin protective plastic coating, to the grooves of the chewing surfaces of each tooth to help prevent tooth decay.
How do sealants work?
Sealants make the surface of a tooth flatter, smoother, and easier to clean. So, by eliminating the grooves in the teeth that are so hard to clean, we are enabling more effective brushing and decreasing the chances of decay. Simply put, sealants make it easier for children to care for their teeth and keep them healthy.
What is the life expectancy of tooth sealants?
It depends. Sealants typically last 3-5 years, but we’ve seen some last into adulthood. We examine your child’s sealants at each checkup and cleaning, and we make any repairs and reapplications, as needed.
Which teeth should be sealed?
This depends on your child’s specific case. We seal the teeth that are most prone to developing tooth decay, which is usually the back teeth, most notably the molars. When we examine your child’s mouth, we determine which teeth show characteristics of developing decay and seal those.
What is the procedure for placing sealants?
Placing sealants is the last part of the child’s cleaning. Once we’ve cleaned, conditioned, and dried the teeth, we apply the sealants to the grooves of the teeth and then harden the coating with a blue light. Finally, we buff the teeth to ensure they’re smooth. That’s it. And your child is free to resume all their regular activities as soon as the appointment is over.
How important is brushing and flossing after sealants are applied?
Very. Sealants do not replace brushing and flossing. They’re just an added defensive plan to fight tooth decay. Make sure your child continues to brush twice and floss once daily.
How much do sealants cost?
Our office staff will check with your insurance company, but most cover the cost of sealants. If not, sealants are very affordable, especially when you consider the cost of going without.