Dental sealants are advertised as a great way to help you prevent cavities, but are they worth it? That is a question we will help you answer.
To help you decide whether you want to invest in dental sealants for you or your child, we will explain what sealants are, the process involved with applying the sealant, and explore approximately how much it costs to have sealants applied to your teeth. Learning this information will help you make a well-informed decision about whether or not your teeth need sealants.
What are Dental Sealants?
Think of dental sealants as a thin protective coating that is applied to the teeth in order to protect them from tooth decay. The safe, semi-permanent solution is applied to the surface of your teeth. Once applied, it actively fights against the development and growth of bacterial plaque which is often responsible for the formation of cavities.
How are Dental Sealants Applied to the Teeth?
Dental sealants are often only applied to the biting surface of the teeth in the back of your mouth. These are the teeth that are most likely to develop cavities because they are hard to reach and they have multiple ridges and grooves where food particles can get stuck.
The application process for applying dental sealants to the teeth is pain-free and quick. When you get dental sealants, your dentist will do the following:
- Complete professional cleaning that includes the use of a pumice paste. Cleaning your teeth is necessary because the sealant bonds better to newly cleaned teeth.
- Application of an etching solution. This roughens up the enamel of your teeth. The rougher the enamel is, the easier it is for the bonded sealant material to stick to your teeth.
- Rinse the tooth with water and dry it
- Apply a thin layer of the liquid sealant on the tooth’s biting surface
- Use a light to harden the sealant to the tooth
It is important to note that dental sealants are designed to last several years. They will need to be reapplied every couple of years in order to provide your teeth with maximum protection against cavities.
Are Dental Sealants Worth It?
Dental sealants are great, but only for certain patients. The best patients for dental sealants are those between the ages of 5 and 13. These patients have just had their permanent teeth start to grow in. The sealant will protect these newly developed teeth from tooth decay.
Some adults may be good candidates for dental sealants especially if there is no tooth decay developing on their teeth.
If you are a good candidate for dental sealants, it is a good investment. The typical cost of a dental sealant is around $35 per tooth. Once the sealant is applied, it protects the tooth from tooth decay. If the tooth isn’t protected, you run the risk of experience extensive damage to your teeth that could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to fix.
Making the small investment in dental sealants now could save you a lot of money in the future.
Sealants Help Prevent Cavities, but You Still Need to Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Just applying sealants to your teeth isn’t enough to prevent cavities from forming. You still need to practice good oral hygiene.
Combining good oral hygiene with dental sealants, you can dramatically reduce your chances of getting a cavity.
A good oral hygiene routine includes the following things:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning, once in the evening
- Brushing after consuming extremely acidic or sugary foods or beverages
- Flossing at least once a day – usually in the evening
- Limiting the amount of sugary and acidic foods and drinks you consume on a regular basis
- Using mouthwash after brushing
- Scheduling regular professional dental cleanings
- Scheduling dental treatment to correct dental problems, such as gingivitis or cavities, in a timely manner
Wondering if you or your child is a good candidate for dental sealants? Call Hancock Village Dental to schedule an appointment with our dentist. Our dentist will conduct a brief oral examination and help you determine if you are a good candidate for this preventative dental treatment.