Dental sealants are commonly applied as a means of preventing cavities caused by tooth decay. A protective coating that is applied to premolars and molars to prevent bacteria from eating away at tooth surfaces, a dental sealant is often part of routine care, particularly for children and teens. But, are there any disadvantages to dental sealants? In this article, we examine the pros and cons of dental sealants.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin resin coatings that are painted onto tooth surfaces to seal out food and plaque that can lead to tooth decay. The nooks and depressions of our back teeth are especially vulnerable to the build-up of food and plaque, and a sealant creates a protective barrier over tooth enamel.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Children and teens are the most likely candidates for dental sealants since they are most likely to develop decay in the grooves of their back teeth. Dental sealants are usually applied when the permanent molars and premolars come in to protect these teeth during the cavity-prone years. Adults with no decay or fillings in their molars benefit from sealants as well.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can help you or your child avoid cavities, especially if they are not good at brushing their back teeth. Fewer cavities mean fewer fillings and lower dental care expenses. According to the American Dental Association, dental sealants are “one of the most effective interventions available for the prevention of tooth decay.”
Dental sealants are safe, and the process is easy and painless. Many insurance plans cover dental sealants for children and teens.
Disadvantages of Dental Sealants
There is a concern that sealants can seal in decay if it already exists. Your dentist will do a thorough examination and x-rays to determine whether or not decay is present before applying the sealant, but there is a risk. Drs. Millingen and Nelson thoroughly clean the pits and grooves that they are sealing prior to the placement of the sealant to make that risk negligible. Dental sealants are not permanent and will wear away over time (typically within ten years).
Dental Sealants in Palm Bay, Florida
At Ultimate Smile Design, we use dental sealants to prevent tooth decay in patients of all ages. We have found that it is a very effective means of maintaining the health of our patients’ teeth. To learn more about dental sealants, we encourage you to inquire about them during your next visit. Contact Ultimate Smile Design in Palm Bay, Florida to schedule an appointment today.