Are They Worth the Risks and Costs?
A dental sealant refers to a thin coating that’s applied on the surface of the teeth, mainly molars and premolars. This is primarily to prevent the effects of tooth decay. When applied, the sealant bonds into the grooves and crevices present on the teeth, almost instantly, offering a protective shield on the enamel of each tooth.
Who Needs Sealants?
Since the likelihood of developing cavities, depressions, and grooves is more among children, children and teenagers are the most viable candidates for sealants. The Seattle Dentists, however, advises adults with fillings and those without dental decay to get sealants as a protective and tooth maintenance practice.
Mostly, children get sealants on their already permanent and not milk molars and premolars. It should be as soon as the back teeth come out after being shed. This way, your kid’s teeth are protected through the age of 6 – 14, which is the most cavity and decay-prone years for children.
Sealants are also appropriate for baby teeth that have begun to develop depressions and grooves. It’s so crucial to keep these baby teeth healthy as they play a vital role in determining the shape and placement of permanent teeth in the future. The goal is to preserve the teeth.
A dental sealant procedure at Ballard Dentistry is a painless and simple process. It will only take a few minutes for your Seattle Dentist to apply a sealant on each of your teeth. Below is the procedural application process:
- First, there is the cleaning of teethdemanding a sealant using dental cleaning agents
- Your dentist then dries each of the teeth, by placing cotton or another absorbent material on the teeth to keep them dry.
- Next is roughening the teeth using an acid solution put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth undergoing treatment. The acid helps the sealant to bond properly with teeth.
- Your teeth are then rinsed and dried.
- The sealant is then painted on your tooth enamel. It bonds directly to the teeth and hardens almost immediately. At times, your dentist might use a special UV light to help set the sealant.
How Long Will They Last?
A lot of concerns are raised on this topic. Note that sealants have a lifespan of up to 10 years.
You will need to do a regular dental checkup for wearing and chipping. Your dentist will know how to place the sealants in case of any problem correctly.
Are They Worth It? What does Research Show?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that sealants are responsible for preventing 80% of cavities for two subsequent years after application. Afterwards, they continue to prevent against 50% of decay cases and cavities for a maximum of four years.
According to the CDC, you can retain your sealants for nearly nine years.
A report also shows that about 43% of American children aged 6 – 11 years have tooth
sealants. Also, children in low-income homes are less likely to have sealants compared to those in higher-income homes.
School-age children without dental are up to three times more likely to develop cavities compared to those with sealants.
The CDC also reported that programs aimed at applying dental sealants to nearly 7 million to children with financial struggles, has saved up to $300 million in dental care costs.
Seattle Dentists state that Sealants are the “most conservative” form of “non-invasive” dental treatment.
To ensure they do not wear away, you need to monitor and maintain your sealants constantly. Also, the success rates of sealant treatment muchdepend on where and how they are placed. Practitioners who misapply them have fewer success rates.
Children are likely to report a lot of lost school time from tooth decay as it can interfere with their sleep schedules, eating and regular activities. With sealants, there are none of these cases.
Toothsealants also help teeth to stay intact in addition to preventing dental cavities
Unlike other procedures which involve drilling, extraction and fillings which compromise the natural structure of teeth, sealants are wholly non-invasive. It goes a long way in saving you additional costs for maintaining an implant or filler.
Sealants are also low in bisphenol A (BPA). Research has shown that a few cases of reactions to dental sealants have been recorded in literature.