Dental sealants are one of most effective preventative tools available at a general dental office. The way they work is really quite simple, but these thin pieces of film significantly reduce your chances of developing tooth decay and cavities.
A sealant is nothing more than a plastic film that’s brushed onto the chewing surfaces of your teeth. After hardening and bonding with your teeth, the sealant prevents food and bacteria from getting lodged in a tooth’s pits and grooves and causing decay.
Do Sealants Work?
When properly applied, sealants are 100 percent effective in preventing cavities. When the sealants remain intact, tiny particles of food can’t reach the tooth’s surface where they can damage the enamel. However, if the bond between the tooth and sealant is compromised, protection goes away or is significantly decreased.
For most people, sealants last a few years before reapplication becomes necessary. The condition of your sealants will be checked during regular exams at a St Pete dental office.
Isn’t Brushing and Flossing Enough?
Brushing and flossing are vitally important and you should continue to do so regularly even if you have sealants. But your toothbrush’s bristles may not be able to remove particles from your teeth’s deep depressions and grooves. Sealants give you an added layer of protection by keeping food particles out of the areas your brush can’t penetrate.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Sealants require no invasive procedures and are easy for your dentist in St Petersburg FL to apply. First, your teeth will be cleaned. Next, using a special solution, your dentist or hygienist will roughen the chewing areas so the sealant sticks to the tooth. Then, the dentist or hygienist “paints” the sealant on the tooth. A curing light is used to help the sealant harden and bond into place.
The treatment is completely painless and takes only a few minutes.
Who Is a Candidate for Sealants?
Children benefit greatly from sealants since their teeth are more susceptible to cavities. In fact, research indicates that most childhood cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of newly erupted teeth. Therefore, sealants are a great option for children who may not have developed the ability to clean their teeth properly.
Older patients can benefit from sealants, too. Most people will eventually develop a cavity in the pits and grooves of their teeth. If you’d like to see if sealants are a good option for you, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive exam by calling 727-498-1959.
Does Dental Insurance Pay for Sealants?
Dental insurance plans vary widely, but many have coverage for sealant treatment. Sealants help to reduce future dental expenses since they prevent cavities which require more expensive restorative treatments. Check with your insurance plan to see if sealants are a covered benefit or a member of our office staff will happily assist you in determining your coverage.