Dental sealants are thin coatings used to fill in deep grooves and pits in teeth that can harbor bacteria. Sealants are applied to healthy chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay and cavities – especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay affects more than half of children ages 6 – 8, and even more older children, teens and adults. By applying sealants, families can prevent decay and the save on the costs associated with filling cavities. If you plan to get dental sealants, the CDC recommends doing so shortly after the molars have erupted from the gums – usually beginning around age 6, however they can still be helpful in preventing tooth decay in older children and adults.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if dental sealants are right for me?
Sealants may be right for you if your molar teeth that are healthy and free of decay. Schedule a dental consultation for a complete examination to determine if dental sealants could be a preventative health solution for you.
What should I expect when dental sealants are placed?
You will not experience any pain when sealants are placed. There is no drilling, and the entire tooth is left intact for the procedure. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and treated with a special gel before the sealant is painted on and cured. Although you may at first feel the sealants on your teeth, the sealants consist of a soft resin and adjust to your bite within 24 hours.
Are there any special care instructions to follow after the sealants are placed?
Normal eating habits can be resumed after dental sealants are applied, although the sealants should be checked at every dental appointment for deterioration. Sealants that are damaged or missing can be replaced.