Are Dental Sealants Worth It? Benefits Of Dental Sealants (And Why You Need Them!)
Are preventative dental sealants worth it? At Ablantis Dental, Dr. Cortadi offers sealants to our Encinitas patients as a way to reduce their risk of tooth decay. By investing in protective dental sealants early on, it’s possible to cut back on trips to the dentist and treatments in the future. And if you have dental insurance, they’re usually covered for young children!
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars and sometimes premolars) to protect them from decay. They’re typically made of a plastic-like material and act as a barrier against food debris, acids, bacteria, and plaque. The protected surfaces are easier to clean effectively with a toothbrush, further reducing your or your child’s chances of getting new cavities in those spaces.
How Dental Sealants Are Placed
The process of applying our Encinitas dental sealants is actually quite simple! No numbing is needed. First, Dr.Cortadi or one of our dental hygienists will clean and dry the teeth being sealed. Then, an etching solution is applied to the chewing surfaces to slightly roughen them up a bit. This helps the sealant material to adhere as closely as possible. Next, the sealant material is painted onto those teeth and cured with a special light. The entire sealant process usually takes just a few minutes per tooth.
What is the Most Important Factor in Dental Sealants?
Anyone can benefit from dental sealants, but they’re especially beneficial for children and teenagers. This is because the teeth being sealed have just recently erupted; the goal is to seal them off before they are exposed to cavity-causing bacteria or acidic environments. In most cases, the sealants are placed right after the “six year” and “twelve year” molars erupt, which is around those ages respectively.
However, adults can also benefit from sealants if they have deep grooves or pits in their back teeth that are prone to developing decay. While it’s less common for adults to get sealants, they can certainly request them at any time, assuming those teeth are healthy and free of an existing infection.
Things to Keep in Mind
When it comes to getting dental sealants, the most important factor is proper placement and maintenance. We will carefully place the sealant material in the grooves of your teeth, which will improve how well you’re able to clean those teeth at home each day. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene—including brushing twice a day and flossing daily—along with regular checkups to ensure that the sealants are still intact and doing their job.
What is the Success Rate of Sealants?
The success rate of dental sealants is quite high as long as the patient also practices good hygiene and maintenance. Studies have shown that sealants can reduce the risk of cavities in the chewing surfaces of back teeth by 80-90%. But they don’t seal the spaces between those teeth, so flossing is still important.
Do Dental Sealants Stay On Forever?
Dental sealants don’t last forever. They typically last for about five to ten years, and it’s important to have them checked and reapplied as needed. Sticky foods—such as caramel, taffy, or similar textures—can easily pull the sealants off of your teeth, so it’s important that you avoid them when possible.
When Should Dental Sealants Not Be Used?
Sealants aren’t a magic bullet for preventing cavities. They’re most effective when used in conjunction with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Additionally, dental sealants should not be used if a tooth already has decay or a filling, as the sealant will not be able to bond properly.
Protective Sealants | Ablantis Dental
Dental sealants are definitely worth it if you want to protect your or your child’s smile against future cavities. Just remember that ongoing maintenance is key and that regular dental check-ups are necessary to ensure that the sealants are still doing their job correctly. To find out if sealants are right for your family, call Ablantis Dental in Encinitas today.