A sealant is a clear or white material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth — the molars and premolars. Sealants protect these teeth from cavities by filling in the grooves on the chewing surfaces that are too deep for a toothbrush to clean.
Sealants are usually made of a plastic material and are applied to the teeth in a liquid form. Once they harden, they provide a physical barrier that prevents food and bacteria from getting into the grooves of the teeth and causing cavities. Sealants can last for several years, but they will need to be checked and replaced if they become worn or damaged.
Types of Sealants:
There are two main types of sealants: resin-based and glass ionomer.
1. Resin-Based Sealants are made of a plastic material that is applied to the teeth in a liquid form and then hardened with a light. Resin-based sealants can last for several years, but they will need to be checked and replaced if they become worn or damaged.
2. Glass Ionomer Sealants are made of a glass material that is applied to the teeth in a liquid form and then hardened with a light. Glass ionomer sealants can last for several years, but they may need to be checked and replaced more often than resin-based sealants.
How are Sealants applied?
Sealants are usually applied in a single visit to the dentist. The tooth will be cleaned and dried, and then the sealant material will be applied in a liquid form. Once the sealant material hardens, it will provide a physical barrier that prevents food and bacteria from getting into the grooves of the tooth and causing cavities.
After the sealant is applied, you or your child can resume normal activities immediately. There is no need to wait for the sealant to harden before eating or drinking.
How long do Sealants last?
Sealants can last for several years, but they will need to be checked and replaced if they become worn or damaged. Your dentist will check the sealants at your regular dental visits and can replace them if necessary.
Uses of Sealants:
Sealants are usually used on the permanent molars and premolars of children. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that sealants be placed on the permanent molars of children as soon as they come in — usually around age 6 or 7. The ADA also recommends that sealants be placed on the permanent premolars — the teeth next to the molars — as soon as they come in, usually around age 11 or 12.
Sealants can also be placed on the primary (baby) teeth of children who are at high risk for cavities, such as those with a family history of cavities or those who have had cavities in the past. Sealants are not a substitute for good oral hygiene, however. They should be used in addition to regular brushing and flossing.
Sealants are a great way to help prevent cavities in both children and adults. If you are considering sealants for yourself or your child, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you. Sealants can last for several years, but they will need to be checked and replaced if they become worn or damaged. Regular dental visits are the best way to ensure that your sealants are in good condition.
1. Are Sealants the same as Fillings?
No, sealants are not the same as fillings. Sealants are typically used to prevent tooth decay in hard-to-reach places, such as the back teeth. Fillings, on the other hand, are used to treat tooth decay that has already occurred.
2. Can Sealants be placed over cavities?
No, sealants cannot be placed over cavities. If a tooth already has a cavity, a filling will be needed to treat the decay. Sealants can only be placed on healthy teeth.
3. Are Sealants safe?
Yes, sealants are safe. They are made from a type of plastic that is considered to be biocompatible, meaning it is not rejected by the body. Sealants have been used for over 50 years and have an excellent track record.
4. What are the benefits of Sealants?
Sealants offer a number of benefits, including:
- They can prevent tooth decay.
- They make it easier to clean hard-to-reach places.
- They can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive dental work.
- They are safe and have a long track record of success.
- They are easy to apply and typically last for many years.
5. Are there any risks associated with Sealants?
There are very few risks associated with sealants. In rare cases, they can cause an allergic reaction or they may not bond properly to the tooth. If this occurs, your dentist can remove the sealant and try again.
6. What should I expect during the Sealant procedure?
The sealant procedure is quick and easy. First, your dentist will clean your teeth and then dry them. Next, he or she will apply an acidic solution to the tooth surface to help the sealant bond. After a minute or so, your dentist will rinse off the acid and then dry your teeth again.
Finally, your dentist will apply the sealant material to your tooth using a small brush. Once the sealant is in place, it will harden quickly. You can expect the entire process to take about 30 minutes.
7. Are there any special instructions I need to follow after my Sealants are placed?
No, there are no special instructions you need to follow after your sealants are placed. You can expect them to last for many years with proper oral hygiene. Just be sure to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for routine checkups.
8. Do Sealants have any warranty or guarantee?
Most dental sealants come with a warranty or guarantee. This means that if the sealant fails within a certain time frame, your dentist will replace it at no cost to you.
9. Are Sealants covered by insurance?
Some dental insurance plans cover the cost of sealants, while others do not. It is best to check with your insurance provider to see if sealants are covered under your policy.
10. What is the cost of Sealants?
The cost of dental sealants varies depending on the type of sealant used and the number of teeth that need to be treated. In general, the average cost of sealants is between $50 and $100 per tooth.
11. Can anyone get Dental Sealants?
Most people can get dental sealants. However, there are some people who should not get them, such as those with allergies to the materials used in the sealant or those who have certain medical conditions. Be sure to talk to your dentist about whether or not sealants are right for you.
12. Are Sealants permanent?
No, dental sealants are not permanent. However, they can last for many years with proper oral hygiene. In most cases, sealants will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.