Today: Nov 21 , 2018

Dental Sealants Fill Grooves and Pits in Teeth
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27 October 2018   Dr. Rick Farnsworth

Are sealants necessary and beneficial during my child’s dental visit? Are they worth the extra money? Should adults receive sealant on their teeth as well?

Dental sealants are utilized as a preventative measure to fill grooves or pits in teeth. The thin coating is non-invasive and acts as a shield over the enamel of teeth to prevent decay. It can be difficult to remove all plaque or food particles from the surfaces of teeth with brushing and flossing alone, that is why sealant is used to fill and protect areas that may be vulnerable to decay. The American Dental Association recommends that sealants be used during children’s dental visits to protect teeth as adult molars begin to surface. Sealants also have been proven to reduce cavities in children by 76%. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also supports the use of sealants in children stating that “…school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than those with sealants.”   Sealants also have been proven to reduce the caries or cavities in children up to 76%. 

The process of applying sealant is quick and painless. After the teeth are cleaned, the grooves and pits on the chewing surface of the tooth will be ready for sealant. A thin layer of resin-based material is bonded onto the top of the tooth, sealing out bacteria and filling in the nooks and crannies of the tooth.  By doing this, it prevents bacteria and plaque from being trapped deep in the fissures and pits where the bristles on a toothbrush can’t reach to clean. These pits and fissure cavities are the types of decay that 

are often asymptomatic and typically difficult to diagnose on an x-ray so inhibiting the start of decay is a good preventive care step to take. For years, dentists have been placing dental sealants on the molars of children to help protect those surfaces. It should be remembered that sealants do wear off with time or can chip away when eating crunching foods. Typically, they can last up to five years at which point they might need to be replaced. 

Dental sealants are worth the extra expensive during dental visits. Especially if you consider that dental sealants cost one-third of the cost of a restorative filling. By preventing cavities with the use of sealants, you can reduce the likelihood of necessary future restorative care, contain your dental care expenses, and free up your money to go and do something fun instead!

Most people associate only children with having teeth sealed because most insurance companies will only cover the cost at 100% for patients under eighteen years of age. However, it can be very beneficial for adults to receive dental sealants as well. Dental decay is not deterred by a person’s age; therefore, our office may recommend adults receive dental sealants in certain incidences. Such as for anyone who has deep grooves in their back teeth or for patients who experience anxiety at the thought of dental treatment, as it may help to avoid the need for dental care and dental anesthesia shots in the future. 

To learn more about sealants and to learn if they are recommended for you or your child; call our office! We would love to schedule you for an appointment or consultation with Dr. Rick Farnsworth or Dr. Jason Campbell Call 928-776-1208. Visit our website for more information about all the dental treatments we offer: www.prescottdentist.com.