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What Are Dental Sealants?
While you have probably heard about dental sealants, you may not know all the facts. For optimal oral health, dentists recommend different treatments. In some instances, this includes sealants. If you want more information as to what these are and how they help, talk to a dental professional.
An introduction to dental sealants
Acidic foods and beverages, normal wear and tear and even age can damage teeth. Not only does that affect a person’s smile but it can also lead to infection. Also, if roots become exposed, an individual would likely struggle with sensitivity issues. In simple terms, dental sealants protect teeth from all of this and more.
How sealants work
People might think of dental sealants as a type of raincoat for the teeth. For one thing, this treatment prevents decay from developing in the first place. However, a dentist can also apply a sealant to stop any further problems after a person has cavities filled. Either way, a dental professional applies a sealant to a patient’s teeth. With that done, there is virtually no risk of acid and bacteria causing damage.
Having dental sealants applied is not harmful nor is the process painful. For this, the dentist first cleans and dries the patient’s tooth. Next, the dental professional applies an acidic gel substance. That process only takes a few minutes to complete. When done, the dental professional rinses out the gel, followed by applying the sealant. To ensure it hardens, the dentist uses a blue light.
Who are good candidates?
Both children and adults benefit from dental sealants. In fact, most dentists recommend a patient have a sealant applied as early in life as possible. Typically, this is around the age of six. Then again around the age of 12, the dentist would apply a second sealant. This coincides with the eruption of the molars. Adults can have this treatment done at any age.
Remember, dentists recommend having dental sealants applied before tooth decay occurs. A dental professional can also apply this on teeth that show early signs of decay to prevent further damage. On rare occasion, a patient might have an allergic reaction to the substance. However, most people do extremely well.
As for the length of time that dental sealants last, it depends on different things. Usually, one treatment will last a patient several years. There are cases of people having the same sealant for nine years. As part of regular checkups, a dentist can determine if a person needs a new sealant applied. If so, they would follow the same process as the initial treatment. Although these are affordable, most dental insurance plans cover the cost — a nice bonus.
During the time a person has their teeth sealed, the risk of developing a cavity decreases by about 50 percent. As a thin coating, dental sealants do not affect how a person chews, talks or laughs. Sealants are also clear or tooth-colored, so no one will even know. Especially for children, this is a great way to avoid the dentist office to have cavities filled.
Give your teeth the protection needed
Dental sealants are highly advantageous. Because these prevent decay, there is a cost-saving factor involved. Of course, along with this treatment, regular brushing and flossing are essential. With everything combined, you will have healthy, strong teeth. Protect your teeth with a simple process that is well worth getting.
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