Has your dentist recommended that you have your teeth sealed? In order to make an informed decision, you may want to know what dental sealants are. We’re going to discuss what sealants are made from, what teeth should be sealed, and how long they last. This will help you to see that this treatment is really cost-effective and beneficial for your dental and overall health!
What Are Dental Sealants?
First, let’s be clear that sealants are in no way a substitute for good oral care. With that out of the way, dental sealants are a coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth to prevent the formation of cavities. The sealant is a synthetic plastic material that is usually clear. While some are concerned that plastic means BPAs, an article from the ADA website provides research showing that these sealants are safe even for children.
What Teeth Are Sealants For?
The teeth that are most commonly treated are molars. That is because the chewing surface is usually pitted, allowing bacteria to build up and cause decay faster. However, any tooth can be treated with a sealant. This process is usually performed when a child gets in their adult teeth, but teeth with no cavities can be treated later on as well.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
It is tough to estimate this, mostly because it depends on how well a person cares for his or her teeth. Again, this is not a substitute for proper oral care. The coating simply acts to overlay the enamel which usually serves to protect the tooth. It is like adding a second protective coating. When teeth are cared for properly, sealants can last for many years.
Is It Worth the Cost?
Treatments are usually performed by the tooth. When a patient has many teeth sealed, the procedure can cost hundreds of dollars. However, because the sealant protects against cavities and other dental problems that are costly to fix, this preventative measure is really a cost-effective means of protecting your teeth. Plus, decay can lead to lost teeth. You can’t really put a price tag on being able to keep your own teeth throughout your life as opposed to dealing with dentures.
Good Oral Care Is a Must
With the help of dental sealants, you can enjoy good oral health throughout your life. However, the responsibility still falls on each individual to care for their teeth daily as well as to schedule regular cleanings with a dental professional.