Top 8 FAQs About Dental Sealants

Top 8 FAQs About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants help protect your teeth from decay by keeping bacteria out and supplementing your oral care routine to help prevent tooth decay. If your Asheville dentist has mentioned dental sealants to you, it could be because you have children who are at risk for tooth decay or because you’re at higher risk for tooth decay yourself!

Here, Saunders DDS answers your top eight frequently asked questions (FAQs) about dental sealants. These mighty little protectors can have great advantages for the right people!

  1. What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin layers of plastic coating sometimes made from other materials used in dentistry that protect teeth from tooth decay. Dental sealants have been shown to help decrease the risk of tooth decay by up to 80%, according to the American Dental Association.

This protective layer essentially covers the surfaces of your teeth to keep out harmful food particles that can be difficult to remove through brushing alone. Dental sealants are instrumental in preventing tooth decay for people who are prone to cavities.

  1. How Long Do They Last?

After proper application, dental sealants can last up to 10 years, although not all dental sealants will last for this amount of time. Over time, they can wear away, so it’s important to get regular checkups with your dentist in Asheville to ensure that the sealants are still in good condition. If necessary, more sealant material can be applied to help seal out cavities.

  1. What Teeth Are They Applied to?

Dental sealants are usually applied to the adult molars, which are the larger teeth located in the back of the mouth. Although any tooth can benefit from dental sealants, usually the back teeth are at the most risk for cavities.

The reason for this placement is because most molars have deep grooves that can easily trap food particles and bacteria. These types of harmful substances can be difficult to remove. When trapped on the teeth, they can quickly work to create acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, therefore causing a cavity.

The reason molars are the teeth most often used for sealants is because of their vulnerability to tooth decay. It’s often difficult for people to properly brush their molars due to the way the teeth are shaped, making dental sealants a positive choice for people who need extra help keeping tooth decay away.

  1. What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Sealants aren’t visible to anyone except your dentist during appointments. Your Asheville dentist will apply the sealants by first properly cleaning the teeth that they’ll be applied to during your professional cleaning. Then, each tooth is properly dried and prepared with a gel-like solution that will help the sealant material bond to the tooth.

Afterward, the sealant material is properly applied and allowed to dry on your teeth. Your dentist will apply the material with a brush to ensure the tooth is properly covered to seal out decay. There’s no pain, no anesthesia needed, and is usually a quick, easy process with no restrictions afterward.

  1. How Well Do Sealants Protect Teeth?

Sealants are known for being very effective at keeping tooth decay away, which makes them great aids in the battle against tooth decay. They make your back molars easier to clean, especially for people who have deeper grooves in their teeth.

Dental sealants can help protect against tooth decay for years, so they are absolutely an investment if you and your dentist decide they are the right choice for you or your children. They can make tooth decay much less prevalent than it currently is in children.

  1. Who Qualifies for Dental Sealants?

Typically, children get dental sealants to help protect their teeth throughout childhood until they learn to properly care for their teeth. Dental sealants are applied to adult teeth, usually not baby teeth, so they help protect adult teeth until the child gets a little older.

However, there are several people who may qualify for dental sealants. In addition to children, teenagers may also qualify for dental sealants. Adults who have many cavities and continue to get cavities may also be candidates for dental sealants. You can talk with your dentist about whether or not you’re a candidate for dental sealants.

  1. Do Dental Sealants Replace Other Oral Care Practices?

Dental sealants definitely don’t replace brushing and flossing. Although they’re effective at helping to prevent tooth decay, they do not completely guard against cavities. You should always brush and floss your teeth to keep decay away with or without dental sealants. Dental sealants typically make it easier to care for your teeth while still avoiding tooth decay.

When it comes to fluoride, your dentist in Asheville can talk with you about your fluoride consumption and how much is needed to help tooth decay. In general, however, dental sealants are not a substitute for fluoride and should not be treated as a replacement to fluoride when it comes to helping protect against tooth decay.

As far as dental exams and professional teeth cleanings go, you should still continue to visit your dentist as recommended. If you have dental sealants, your dentist can monitor how well the sealants are holding up to provide you with the maximum amount of cavity protection that your sealants can offer.

  1. How Much Do Dental Sealants Cost?

 The cost of getting dental sealants will depend on whether or not your insurance company will cover the cost. Fortunately, many dental plans cover sealants. Check to be sure what will be covered and what won’t. Our staff can also help you determine the cost when you come in for an appointment. When you consider the cost compared to getting cavities filled, it’s very affordable!

Have you considered getting dental sealants for your child? This procedure is simple, affordable, and of course, pain-free. Dental sealants are extremely effective at sealing out decay, ensuring that you are protected along with your regular oral care routine of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist in Asheville.

Ask your dentist whether you’d be a candidate for dental sealants based on your unique smile, or if you have questions about your children receiving dental sealants!