Did you know 80% of dental cavities can be prevented with dental sealants? This is according to the Center for Disease Control who further reports that children who don’t have dental sealants are twice more likely to develop dental cavities.
So, what are dental sealants? They are thin, wafer-like plastic protectors that cover the tooth surface to protect them from plaque buildup. If you are considering dental sealants, here are four facts to know about:
Dental sealants are mostly used by children. That’s not to say that adults can’t use thin protectors. Adults who don’t have tooth decay or fillings can be benefits from the sealants.
We recommend dental sealants for children and teenagers because they are at risk of developing dental cavities. Although most of the sealants are used for permanent teeth, the dentist may also recommend them for primary molar and premolars (which are the last set of teeth to come off at age 12) to protect them from decay.
Premature loss of the primary teeth can significantly affect the dental structure and cause the permanent teeth to be crooked or crowded. Eventually, the child will need braces and other restorative dental treatments which are expensive and may not restore the dental structure.
Dental sealants are easy to apply—you will need only one dental visit. The application is painless and non-invasive and only requires a few minutes. Our dentist in Katy will clean the tooth surface and dry it using a cotton pad. They will then apply an acid solution to roughen it up.
Afterward, an acid solution is rinsed off, and the sealant is painted to the teeth enamel where it bonds to the teeth. At times the dentist will use a special light to harden the sealant.
We apply the dental sealants on the back teeth to keep off cavities as the sealants act as a physical barrier between the teeth and bacteria.
Although brushing and flossing help to maintain dental health, at times it is not enough to keep the molars and premolars clean (and for children it may be worse considering they may not know how to clean them effectively).
Failure to get dental sealants can lead to cavities, and worse still can cause dental decay. Dental decay can be treated in various ways such as dental crowns, root canals, and tooth extraction.
Keep in mind when the extraction is done on permanent teeth, they won’t grow back and you will need to find alternatives for replacing the teeth such as dental implants (which are an option when the child is 16 years).
According to the Center for Disease Control, dental sealants can last for nine years. However, they need to be constantly checked for chipping and wearing down. If they are worn down, call our dentist in 77449 for a replacement.
Dental sealants offer great benefits including:
It’s important to note that dental sealants are made of plastic that contains BPA (Bisphenol A) which is believed to disrupt the immune system and nervous system and thyroid function.
According to the Food, Drug and Administration and American Dental Association, however, the amount of BPA in the dental sealants is too low to cause any harm to the child. Furthermore, research indicates there’s no evidence that the BPA in sealants can cause health problems. The only problem with dental sealants is an allergic reaction, which is rare.
Dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth from decay and cavities. So, contact our dentist in Katy for an assessment and discussion if dental sealants are ideal for your child.