Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth after their permanent teeth have erupted as a preventive measure against tooth decay. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants typically last from three to five years, although it is not uncommon to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment in our Marietta, GA office for your teeth to be resealed. Your dentist will also inspect them during your routine check-ups and reapply them if necessary.
The process of applying dental sealants is quick and totally painless, no drilling or shots required! It should only take about a minute per tooth to apply and can be done by a hygienist or your dentist in our Marietta office. While your sealants will dry in a matter of minutes and you can eat as drink as normal afterwards, try to avoid hard, sticky or chewy food for the remainder of the day.
The short answer to that is: no. These are two different treatments providing different benefits. When used in conjunction with each other, dental sealants and fluoride treatments effectively help reduce the rate of future cavities in children in particular.
Most dental insurance companies will partially or fully cover the cost of dental sealants in patients under 18 as it’s seen as a preventive measure. Please check with your insurance provider if you require more information or contact Kenmar Dental if you have any other questions.