Dental Sealants: Your Key to Prevention
For those of you at higher risk for tooth decay, you may need to take action beyond your daily brushing and flossing. Dental sealants have been used for over 30 years and are a valuable tool for preventative oral health care. Many dentists, including Gilreath Dental Associates, use dental sealants in children as part of their total prevention dental care. Dental sealants can last 5 to 10 years. Here are a few reasons why dentists highly recommend them, especially for children and teens.
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied over the surface of posterior teeth. The resin material fills in deep grooves and fissures of your molars to create a smooth and tooth-colored surface. Without a sealant, those teeth with deep pits can be a breeding ground for bacteria since they collect food particles so easily. Children and teens especially are prone to cavities on these back molars, or chewing teeth. Therefore, a dental sealant can be critical to cavity prevention.
By preventing cavities, you are not only saving your teeth from damage, but you are saving your wallet as well. A dental sealant can cost between $25 and $50 per tooth. Whereas, if you have a cavity, you might spend up to $200 for a single filling. Not to mention the discomfort in a filling procedure itself is worth avoiding. A cavity filling can be a longer and more uncomfortable procedure. If you choose to get preventative dental sealants, however, it is a painless and quick appointment that allows patients to eat immediately afterwards.
If you or your dentist believes you are at higher risk of tooth decay, then dental sealants might be your answer. Essentially, dental sealants are cheaper, more effective, and less painful than having to treat a cavity. Of course, you will still need to brush and floss to maintain your teeth and have your sealants checked for reapplication, but a dental sealant can make your job significantly easier for you.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates