5 Facts About Dental Sealants

Big Dental teeth

Dental sealants are a liquid plastic that covers the top of a tooth to prevent bacteria from decaying the tooth. Sealants are usually placed on the molars of the tooth since these kind of teeth are the most susceptible to bacteria. The deep grooves in the molars allow for bacteria to sit and develop inside the tooth, meaning that while brushing your teeth is a safe and effective habit, the average toothbrush is usually unable to reach deep into the crevices and remove that bacteria. Dental sealants, thus provide an alternative protective measure for decaying and cavity-filled teeth.

1. Sealant can last up to 10 years

When a child or young adult gets a dental sealant installed, dental sealants can last for quite a long time. This is due to how the plastic material hardens once placed within the grooves of the teeth. After the initial cleaning of the molar teeth, an acid solution is first placed inside the grooves to allow the plastic solution to stick. Because of this solution, the sealant directly sticks to the tooth and can be hardened with a curing light if necessary. The sealant protects the tooth under the force of natural chewing habits, and the risk of decay decreases significantly.

2. Saliva will not remove sealants

Because of the nature of saliva, it does not have any acidic qualities that will dissolve or remove the dental sealant from the molar by any means. Saliva is made out of 99% water, and contains a minor amount of electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, and cells, and is used to moisten and soften food so it can be easily digested. While saliva can break down starches, dental sealants are hard enough once applied that it won’t be affected by the saliva at first. Only through continuous use of the teeth over a long time will the sealants eventually dissolve.

3. Dental sealants can help save money

Dental sealants provide a preventative measure for those at risk for tooth decay and cavities. Dental sealants are most often prepared for children, as their second permanent molars grow in and replace the first permanent molars at the initial stages of a child’s growth. If your child’s teeth have begun to develop pits and grooves, dental sealants can prevent the risk of decay. Repairing cavities can cost up to 4 times as much as purchasing dental sealants and many dental plans cover dental sealants because the risk for those with dental sealants are seen as slim by insurance companies.

4. The procedure is painless

When the sealant is applied to the molar teeth, its adhesive nature allows for dentists to not use any kind of local anesthesia or special tools to insert it. Because of this painless procedure, dentists recommend this option for children who have grooves in their molar teeth as a preventative measure for tooth decay. Children, teenagers, and young adults can effectively protect their teeth through dental sealants, and not have to worry about the procedure.

5. It protects decay from spreading

Not only do dental sealants protect molars from decay, but if an already existing cavity or tooth decay is present, then the dental sealant will be able to prevent the decay from spreading. Dental sealants have been around since the 1960s and have steadily improved over time.

At Bethesda Family Dentistry, Dr. Deborah Tabb and her team of dentists cater to families in the Bethesda, MD area to provide the highest-quality dental care. Dr. Tabb treats her patients like family, performing regular checkups, dental cleanings, and dental sealants with ease and professionalism. If you’re looking for a dentist in your area, then call them today to schedule an appointment.