What is a dental sealant?
A dental sealant is a coating of thin resin that is applied directly on the chewing surfaces of healthy, cavityfree back teeth, where decay occurs most frequently. The sealant protects by acting as a barrier for the pits and fissures in teeth. They can be compared to the “nooks and crannies” of an English muffin. These areas tend to be hard to keep clean as they are not easily accessible with a toothbrush.
Is it a complicated procedure?
Sealing a tooth is a quick, easy procedure. The teeth that will be sealed will be cleaned first, and then the tooth is conditioned to help the sealant stick to the biting surface. The sealant is then painted on and then hardened by a special curing light. The whole process only takes a few minutes per tooth.
How long do sealants last?
The tooth surface will be protected as long as the sealant remains intact. Sealants, whether on baby or adult teeth, hold up well and can last for many years under normal chewing conditions.
Aren’t sealants just for kids?
Children and teenagers commonly get sealants because there is a higher probability of them developing decay as they work towards better oral hygiene habits. Adults, however, can benefit from sealants as well. By evaluating a person’s risk for this type of decay, it can be determined if sealants are the right choice. The risks can vary over time and may increase if there are changes in health, medications or even dental habits. History of decay and dry mouth (xerostomia) are also factors a dentist will consider during an evaluation.
Do sealants save you money?
Prevention is always better than costly treatment. When considering that properly applied and maintained sealants are extremely effective in preventing decay, they become a very cost-effective measure. The average sealant costs $45 to 60, compared to a filling which can cost hundreds of dollars. In addition, most insurance plans cover sealants possibly reducing your out of pocket expense even further.
Preventing tooth decay by maintaining a healthy mouth is always the first line of defense, but it can’t hurt to take advantage of the tools available to prevent decay which can pose a problem in the future.
Dr. Cyril Mansperger is an eco-friendly dentist who provides general dental procedures with a special emphasis on health, functionality and aesthetic design. His office is located at 202 Fishkill Ave. in Beacon. For more information, call 831- 3435 or visit CyrilMansperger.com.