If your child has teeth, chances are that you’ve heard about dental sealants. Whether or not you’ve heard about them, you probably aren’t’t totally sure what a dental sealant is. Granted, a dental sealant sounds kind of like a dramatic procedure. In reality, it’s a lot more simple than that.
What are dental sealants?
A dental sealant is, essentially, a procedure to protect children’s teeth from developing decay and cavities. In general, it’s recommended that a tooth be sealed at the first sign of decay on adult teeth. As adult teeth begin to erupt, between the ages of 5 and 7, it’s recommended to apply a dental sealant to the teeth, to prevent decay.
How do they work?
Dental sealants are formed by a plastic like liquid being carefully dripped onto the biting surface of the adult permanent molars. This coats the pits and fissures within the tooth that are a breeding ground for bacteria and decay.
The sealant is then set with an ultraviolet light. Cost for dental sealants can vary, usually between $30 and $40 per tooth. This procedure is covered by most dental insurance companies.
Dental sealants can last up to ten years, if proper dental hygiene is practiced.
Do all children need dental sealants?
The easy answer to this question, is no, not all children need dental sealants. This decision is up to the discretion of your dentist, as well as what your desires for your children are. Some parents request dental sealants for their children as a preventative measure. Most cavities and tooth decay is found on the surface of the back biting molars.
If your child has an excess of pits and fissures in their adult molars, and are prone to cavities and decay, a dental sealant procedure may be something worth thinking about.