The Importance of Dental Sealants in Protecting Your Teeth
Dental sealants are made of plastic material that can help in preventing tooth decay because they form a barrier to your tooth. They are usually applied to the back teeth, specifically to the chewing surfaces. These areas are prone to decay. Even if you brush and floss daily, there are still food particles that cannot be removed. This is especially true to grooves and depressions. These particles will form a plaque on the smooth surfaces of your teeth. To protect these areas, they are sealed through the application of dental sealants.
The chewing surfaces of your teeth have fissures, which are prone to decay. Since these fissures or grooves are so deep, they cannot be reached by your toothbrush. They are narrower than a single bristle of your brush. Because they are difficult to clean, plaque can easily accumulate in these areas. The plaque forms an acid when it is “eaten” by bacteria. The acid will attack the enamel causing cavities to develop.
You may apply fluoride to prevent decay and protect the surfaces of the teeth. But dental sealants are applied to provide extra protection to the grooved and pitted area. They are easy to apply. Your dentist will paint it onto your tooth enable. It bonds to your tooth and hardens quickly. As the sealants protect the enamel, plaque and acids cannot form. Your tooth surfaces are protected against cavities, as long as these sealants are intact.
Even when you chew, they remain intact. They can last for several years before you need another application of sealant. But it does require you to visit your dentist on a regular basis. This is to check whether or not the sealants are still intact. If they are broken or damaged, your dentist may re-apply them.
How Long Can They Last?
As previously mentioned, they can last for many years or even decades. They have been proven to be effective in protecting tooth enamel since their introduction in the 1970s. There are also studies that showed how effective they are in preventing decay on those surfaces of your teeth.
Many children are great candidates for this dental prevention method. Parents are advised to let their kids be seen by their dentists to find out whether or not they can take advantage of this preventive method.
In various surveys, they showed that cavities usually occurred in those narrow pits and grooves of children’s newly developed teeth. The reason for this is that food particles and harmful bacteria cannot be easily eliminated from the surfaces. An assessment by your child’s dentist will best determine if your kid is a good candidate for sealants.
What Advantages Can They Provide?
One of the benefits of dental sealants is that they can significantly reduce your risk of tooth decay. If you have a family history of tooth decay, they can be your perfect solution to this inevitable problem. Because brushing cannot get to those difficult areas of your mouth, having sealants can make sure that your teeth will stay cavity-free for years to come.
With the protection they can provide, you can save money in the long run. The more you are committed to addressing your dental issues while they are still manageable, the less time and money you have to spend on expensive options in the future.
Unfortunately, dental sealants may not be covered by your insurance. The reason for this is that your provider may not be able to justify the cost of this proactive dental procedure. Apart from that, they can only protect your teeth for 10 years (max). Dental problems may still occur.
Nevertheless, dental sealants can somehow reduce potential expensive costs in the future. They provide a protective barrier to the natural teeth that you are born with. Because of the cost and embarrassing issues that may result in replacing your permanent teeth with dentures, safeguarding them and taking proactive steps can make sure that your teeth will stay as healthy as possible.
Talk to your dentist about dental sealants and how you may benefit from them.