Hudson NH Dental Associates Dentists

Preventative Services :: Hudson Dental Associates

Dental Sealants

Tooth decay is the most prevalent dental disease among children. Dental sealants can safely reduce tooth decay and preserve a smile for years to come. Sealants are simply a thin plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of back teeth as a means of helping to prevent tooth decay. The white film (plaque) that remains on the teeth over time causes tooth decay and without proper removal, it forms a cavity. Sealants are an effective way of blocking plaque from forming on hard-to-reach areas with your toothbrush. They are typically applied to permanent molars and premolars, but can be applied to baby teeth. Sealants can be clear, white or tinted and can’t be seen when you talk or smile, because they are only applied to the back teeth.

Dental sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the United States Public Health Service as an effective means of preventing cavities. Dental decay is the most prevalent dental disease among children, and sealants can reduce it.

Benefits of Dental Sealants:

  • Cover pits and grooves where bacteria and food lodge to cause tooth decay
  • Applied to those “hard-to-reach-teeth” that are more likely to collect plaque in their deep and narrow pits
  • Can be effective for up to ten years
  • Cost effective – on average, the cost to apply a sealant is approximately one-half to one third the cost of filling a cavityin the tooth

Effectiveness

Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay. The use of sealants substantially reduces the occurrence of dental cavities, beyond what has been done by fluoride treatment and other preventative measures. It is recommended to repair or replace lost or partially lost sealants to maintain effectiveness over the years.

Risks Involved

The risks of applying dental sealants are minimal. No known toxic materials or agents are used and there is no known possibility of dental decay below sealants. It appears that sealants have even prevented further progression of decay started before the sealant was applied.

Sealant Candidates:

  • Children with newly formed permanent teeth
  • Adults with formation of decay

Ask your dental care provider if dental sealants are right for you and your children.

Procedure

Applying dental sealants is an easy and simple process. First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Next, a mild acid solution is applied to help bond the sealant properly. Lastly, the sealant is placed on the tooth to seal the grooves and only takes about 60 seconds to harden. That is it, no discomfort and it is done very quickly.

Follow-Up Care

Chewing hard or sticky foods should be avoided after your sealants have been applied. Sealants along with a healthy diet, fluoride and proper dental care will reduce your likelihood of tooth decay.

Sealants and Insurance

Many dental insurance plans cover sealants up to a certain age for a child.

Sealants are effective, easy to apply, inexpensive and nontoxic. It’s important to remember that sealants are meant to be part of a complete program of dental health that includes dental checkups, fluoride, brushing, flossing, and a good diet. For more information on dental sealants, please ask your dental care provider.

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