Do you have a child who is a worrywart? Have you noticed that they have become more resilient or that you’re having trouble brushing their teeth? Are you noticing tooth decay?
You may notice tooth decay on your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are great at improving oral hygiene. In this article, we will explore the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about dental sealants.
What Is a Dental Sealant and How Does It Work?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied to the surface of the back teeth. It acts as a barrier, preventing bacteria and food from getting into the tooth. It also helps to prevent cavities from forming.
The sealant forms a tight bond between the teeth and other parts of the mouth, and it can last for up to 10 years. The procedure for applying a sealant is quick and painless, with no drilling or needles involved.
The dentist simply paints the sealant onto the tooth, and it is then hardened and set into place. Dental sealants are a safe and effective way to protect teeth from decay and cavities, and they can be used as part of a complete oral health care program.
Do Dental Sealants Have Side Effects?
Common side effects include sensitivity to hot or cold foods, tooth pain, and gum irritation that can occur while the sealant is being applied or during the first few weeks after placement.
Less often, allergic reactions can occur, which may cause itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat. Fortunately, these reactions are rare and can be treated with medications prescribed by a dentist.
To minimize the chances of side effects, have your sealants applied by a qualified and experienced dentist. Contact your local dentist office immediately if you develop any side effects after having your sealants applied.
What Is the Process for Getting Dental Sealants?
The process of getting dental sealants is relatively simple. First, the teeth are examined and cleaned. This includes getting rid of any buildup of plaque and tartar. Then the dental sealant, which is a thin plastic coating, is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
The sealant adheres to the tooth, creating a protective layer over the enamel. After it is applied, the dental sealant is hardened with ultraviolet light.
This process usually takes about 15 minutes, and the sealant will last for several years before needing to be replaced. Dental sealants have been proven to be effective in helping to reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay and are an important part of preventive dental care.
Is It Normal to Have Tooth Sensitivity After Getting Sealants?
Having minor tooth sensitivity after having a dental sealant is fairly common and nothing to be concerned about. When the sealant is applied, some of the bacteria that cause tooth decay can be removed.
This can create a more sensitive surface until the enamel has a chance to adjust to the new sealant. Taking an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen can help reduce the sensitivity until it begins to subside.
When Should I Get Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are an important part of preventive dental care and should be considered when trying to reduce the risk of tooth decay. For adults, it is recommended that they be applied to those teeth which have deep grooves or depressions.
For children, dental sealants are typically recommended for molars when they first come in, around age 6.
It is beneficial for children to get sealants for additional molars to minimize risk of decay and capping as soon as the teeth come in, typically between 11 and 14. All sealants should be applied by your dentist and checked or refreshed during regular check-ups.
Are Dental Sealants Covered by My Typical Insurance Plan?
Typically, dental sealants are covered by most insurance plans. However, the coverage varies from plan to plan. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers.
If your plan does not include dental sealants, some clinics offer discounted rates for preventative care such as sealants, so ask about these discounts.
Generally, sealants are more likely to be covered for children and adolescents, due to their higher risk of cavities. For adults, more expensive procedures like crowns or fillings are generally covered more than sealants.
It is likely that you will need to pay some upfront fees for the procedure; your dentist will be able to provide a cost estimate for the sealants before treatment.
Overall, dental sealants can be a practical way to ensure long-term oral health, so it is worth checking with your insurance provider to see your coverage options.
What Are the Different Types of Dental Sealants?
There are a few different types of sealants available and each type has different advantages.
Most sealants are a composite resin which forms a protective layer over the enamel when applied, while others are glass ionomers which release fluoride ions to help strengthen the teeth.
Another type is the adhesive-based sealant, which forms a strong bond with the enamel to reduce the risk of tooth decay. No matter which type of dental sealant you choose, it is important to discuss your options with your dentist in order to make an informed decision.
Learn All About Dental Sealants the Right Way
Overall, dental sealants are an excellent way to protect your teeth from decay and cavities, while also saving you money.
They are ideal for children, as they can form a barrier between the teeth and food particles. Visit your dentist today to learn more about how dental sealants can keep your teeth and wallet healthy!
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