If you have heard of dental sealants but do not know what these are, or have not heard of these at all, then you have come to the right place. Dental sealants are, as the name suggests, something that helps seal a tooth’s surface, helping prevent decay from forming. Sealants are used to fill in certain grooves and fissures in a person’s tooth, making these smoother and thereby less vulnerable to the possibility of food debris from getting into these pits.
Contrary to what some people may believe, the use of sealants is not a new thing, and is actually an old method for helping to protect teeth, having been around for decades. This thin, plastic coating that goes on a person’s teeth is usually used to protect the molars and the pre molars of children as well as teenagers. This does not mean however that adults cannot benefit from this as well, as long as they do not have any fillings or decay on their teeth.
How Are Dental Sealants Used?
How are these sealants used and what are the steps needed to get these to protect a person’s teeth? Sealants are applied to a person’s teeth, usually their premolars and their molars, with the help of a few steps. The application is generally painless, and can be done with just one visit to a dentist.
- First step is the cleaning of the teeth that are to be sealed.
- Once the teeth are cleaned, the dental professional then wipes each tooth off, and cotton wrapped around each tooth to help keep these dry and ready for the next stage.
- The chewing surfaces of these teeth are then treated with acid to help make these rough enough to effectively hold the sealant in place.
- After these are rough enough to properly handle the sealant, these are washed and dried.
- The sealant is finally applied to the teeth that have been prepped, and allowed to dry. To expedite the drying process, sometimes a light cure is used.
Duration, Cost, and Care of Dental Sealants
One of the questions people often ask before, and sometimes even after, they have sealants applied on their teeth, is for how long these will last. They also ask about proper dental care after sealants are applied. Also, the cost of such a treatment is something that people are curious about as well.
The usual length of time for sealants to stay effective in protecting teeth is somewhere between 3 years and 5 years, although there have been cases where these have lasted for ten years on a patient’s teeth. When it comes to dental care, you should continue taking really good care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist will also require you to come in regularly for dental check-ups to clean your teeth, as well as to check and see if your sealants are still intact. If these need some repair, your dentist will make sure to do so during your visit.
Dental sealants are not expensive, and are actually seen as a cost effective way to help keep teeth healthy and intact for longer. You should also be glad to know that a lot of insurance companies do cover the cost of such a procedure. You should ask your provider however if they do so before you have this done to your teeth.