Protect Your Child's Smile with Dental Sealants
For many patients, normal brushing and flossing may not be enough to prevent cavities from forming in their teeth. Children, in particular, are especially prone to decay. Dental sealants serve as an additional, protective layer over the teeth to minimize the risk of cavities.
Dr. Art Carpenter and our team provide sealants for both children and adults as part of our comprehensive preventive dentistry services. Sealants are a quick, easy, and effective treatment which can help you avoid the cost of fillings or other treatments for decay.
Understanding Dental Sealants
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating which covers the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Most often used on the back molars, sealants bond with the grooves in the teeth to prevent tooth decay. By sealing out plaque and food particles, these coatings supplement brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
Who Needs Sealants?
Most often, Dr. Carpenter will recommend sealants for children and teenagers, as they are most vulnerable to decay. However, adults who are prone to decay can also benefit from this preventive treatment. While sealants can be placed over areas affected by early stages of decay, they cannot be applied over existing fillings.
We prefer to place sealants as soon as permanent molars and premolars erupt. That way, the teeth are protected, even when they are most likely to develop cavities. If your child has baby teeth with particularly deep grooves, we may recommend sealants on these, as well.
At the Appointment
Placing dental sealants is a simple, painless process which only takes a few minutes for each tooth. During the visit, one of our hygienists will first make sure that the teeth are thoroughly clean and dry. Then Dr. Carpenter will:
- Roughen the surfaces of the teeth to help the sealant bond
- Rinse and dry the teeth
- Paint the sealant material onto the enamel
- Use a special curing light to bond and harden the sealant
There is no recovery time needed for a dental sealant. Once the plastic material has fully hardened, you can chew on the tooth like normal. If the sealant causes issues with your bite, Dr. Carpenter can make adjustments to ensure your smile is comfortable and healthy.
Placing dental sealants is a simple, painless process which only takes a few minutes to complete for each tooth.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy with a Sealant
A properly placed sealant can last 10 years or more. We will continue to check your sealant for chips or wear during your biannual exams. Dr. Carpenter can replace the plastic coating as necessary to keep the treated tooth healthy long-term.
Paying for Preventive Treatments
Since dental sealants are a preventive treatment, most insurance plans will cover the procedure. However, even without insurance, a sealant is an affordable option which can prevent more expensive treatment in the future. If you are unsure about paying for your dental sealant, you can discuss financing options with our friendly staff.
Prevent Decay and Keep Your Smile Healthy
For children and adults alike, tooth decay is a serious issue which can lead to a variety of other oral health problems. Our doctors offer sealants as part of our comprehensive preventive dentistry treatments. For more information about protecting your smile, contact our office online or call (847) 251-5004 today.