Many people have deep pits and grooves in their teeth where bacteria and food particles can hide and cause decay. Children with poor brushing habits may also develop decay on hard-to-reach molars. For situations like these, dental sealants offer a means of protecting molar and premolar chewing surfaces from decay. Recognized by the American Dental Association as a key means of cavity prevention, dental sealants are simply a thin plastic film that can be applied to teeth.
First, we identify and fill any spots of decay, then prepare your teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. After about 15 seconds, we thoroughly rinse the solution, dry the surface, coat your teeth with the sealant, and harden it with a curing light. The entire procedure is fast, easy, and comfortable. It takes about 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to seal.
Dental sealants create an impenetrable physical barrier for small food particles and cavity-causing bacteria, making them highly effective in preventing tooth surface decay and the resulting cavities. Sealants can last up to ten years. Most insurance companies only cover sealant procedures at a minimal level, but the good news is that insurance companies seem to be recognizing this technique’s value as a preventive measure that will help reduce future dental costs and more aggressive treatments.