Are you concerned about tooth decay? Dental sealants at Gateway Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro can help ensure that your teeth stay healthy and beautiful.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a protective coating, usually composed of liquid resin, that is applied to a tooth’s chewing surface. Sealants are typically applied to the molars, the large back teeth whose primary purpose is breaking down food.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, school-age children who don’t have dental sealants have up to three times as many 1st molar cavities than children with sealants.
How Do They Work?
The primary function of a sealant is to prevent cavities by “sealing” out bacteria. Think of a sealant as a shield that blocks decay-causing food particles from sticking to the grooves in the teeth.
How Are They Applied?
The procedure of getting a dental sealant is quick and painless.
- First, your dentist will thoroughly clean the teeth that are receiving the sealants.
- The teeth are then dried to prepare them for an acid solution.
- After the teeth are dried, the acid solution is applied to roughen the surface of the teeth. This helps the sealant material stick to the teeth more easily.
- Once the teeth’s surfaces are sufficiently textured, the acid is washed away, and the teeth are re-dried.
- After the teeth are dry, the sealant material is carefully applied to the teeth using a painting motion.
- The sealant material is then cured using an intense white light.
Unlike other dental procedures, sealants do not cause tooth sensitivity after application.
How Much Do Sealants Cost?
Dental sealants are among the more affordable oral care procedures, costing on average $30-$60 per tooth. Sealants are covered by most major dental insurances.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can last up to 10 years when they’re regularly checked for chips, cracks or vulnerabilities. If your dentist notices a weak spot in one of your sealants, he or she can re-do the sealant to ensure your tooth stays protected.
When Should My Child Get Sealants?
It is recommended for children to get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they come in. This typically occurs between 6 and 7 years of age for the first molars, and between 11-14 for the second set of permanent molars.
Sealants are also recommended for the permanent pre-molars, which typically erupt around the ages of 10-13. This helps ensure that the main chewing teeth are protected during the cavity-heavy period between ages 6 and 14.
Even with these basic guidelines, it’s important to remember that every child is different. Talk with your dentist about the right schedule for sealants for your child’s unique teeth.
Do Dental Sealants Have BPA In Them?
The plastic materials used in dental sealants don’t contain BPA. However, the plastic compounds can create BPA when exposed to saliva. Even so, research has shown that children are exposed to exponentially more BPA in the food and drink they consume than from their dental sealants.
A 2016 study referenced by the American Dental Association showed that the amount of BPA created by dental sealants was well below the proposed daily limit.
More studies are needed to fully understand the effects of low-level BPA exposure. The benefits of dental sealants, however, have been proven repeatedly.
Can Adults Get Dental Sealants?
Sealants work extremely well to protect teeth that have no dental caries or decay. For this reason, they are most often applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure. However, this doesn’t mean that sealants only work for children. Adults who have healthy molars with no decay can also experience protective benefits from dental sealants.
Find out if you or your child is a good candidate for dental sealants by scheduling an appointment with Gateway Family Dental in Murfreesboro! Our team of dental care professionals will help you make the best decision for your oral health.