Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars) to protect them from decay. These chewing surfaces contain pits and grooves (fissures) where food particles and bacteria can accumulate, making them more susceptible to cavities. Dental sealants act as a barrier, sealing off these pits and grooves to prevent bacteria and food particles from getting trapped and causing decay.
What are the benefits of sealants?
- Decay Prevention: Dental sealants help prevent cavities by sealing off the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reducing the risk of food particles and bacteria becoming trapped and causing decay.
- Easy Maintenance: Sealants are easy to maintain and can last for several years with proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. They provide an additional layer of protection against cavities without requiring any special care or maintenance.
- Non-Invasive: The process of applying dental sealants is non-invasive and does not involve drilling or removing any tooth structure. It is a painless procedure that can be completed in a single dental visit.
- Cost-Effective: Dental sealants are a cost-effective preventive measure for reducing the risk of cavities, especially in children and adolescents who may be more prone to developing tooth decay on their back teeth.
Are sealants just for kids?
Dental sealants are most commonly recommended for children and adolescents who have newly erupted permanent molars and premolars, as these teeth are particularly susceptible to decay due to their deep pits and grooves. However, adults who are at high risk of developing cavities on their back teeth may also benefit from dental sealants.
How are sealants placed?
The process of applying dental sealants is quick, painless, and non-invasive. It typically involves the following steps:
- Cleaning: The teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried to remove any plaque, debris, or bacteria from the tooth surfaces.
- Etching: A special acidic solution is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to create a rough surface texture, which helps the sealant adhere more effectively to the tooth enamel.
- Application: The dental sealant material is carefully painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth, where it flows into the pits and grooves and forms a protective coating.
- Curing: A curing light may be used to harden the sealant and ensure a durable bond to the tooth enamel.
- Evaluation: Dr. Lemons checks the sealants to ensure they have properly bonded to the teeth and provide adequate protection against decay.
Are they covered by my insurance?
Whether dental sealants are covered by your insurance depends on your specific dental insurance plan and its coverage policies. Before scheduling sealant placement it's advisable to contact your dental insurance provider to verify coverage and understand any applicable limitations, exclusions, or out-of-pocket costs associated with sealants. Lemons Dental can also assist you in determining your insurance coverage and maximizing benefits for preventive dental care services, including sealants. If sealants are not covered by your insurance or if you have concerns about affordability, we can discuss alternative payment options or financing arrangements with you in our office.