What are Dental Sealants?

What are Dental Sealants?
Posted on January 22, 2024

We've always been told to take care of our teeth; we just need to brush and floss on a regular basis. While these two activities are generally the best way to prevent cavities and help keep our smile healthy, there are some small areas – especially around your back teeth – that can be more susceptible to the build of bacteria that causes cavities. There is a device called a dental sealant that can help you prevent cavities, in addition to regular brushing and flossing. Here's what you need to know about them. 

What does a dental sealant do?

A sealant is kind of like a raincoat for your teeth. When small food particles are left behind after you've eaten a meal, that food can produce acid that will harm your teeth. When a sealant has been applied to your teeth, the build-up of food particles and the acid produced by left behind food won't be able to harm your teeth.

Who are sealants meant for?

One of the best things about sealants is that almost anyone can get one – adults or children. However, the earlier it's applied in life, the better protection someone will get. 

A person's first molars will usually appear somewhere around the age of 6, and then their second set of molars come in around 12. If possible, get these teeth sealed as soon as they fully emerge. 

By doing this early on, you could save yourself a lot of time (and money possibly) down the road by preventing cavities and other major dental issues. Sealants really help to take care of your teeth in the long-term. 

How are sealants put on your teeth?

The other amazing thing about sealants is that they can be applied very easily, and it's a painless procedure done right in your dentist's office. 

Your dentist will simply clean off and dry the applicable tooth and place a gel on your tooth that helps the sealant bond to your tooth. The dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant to your tooth – and you're done! 

What if you already have a cavity?

In some cases, a sealant may be placed over an area of decay to help prevent further damage and decay from happening. Additionally, because sealants are clear, doing this will allow your dentist to monitor the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job and that the decay isn't getting worse. 

What are the side effects of getting sealants?

There may be an allergic reaction to the sealant gel – which may not even be known before the procedure – but aside from that, there aren't any side effects of getting sealants put on your teeth. 

How long will sealants last?

For the most part, sealants will last for several years on a tooth before they need to be replaced. When you go for your regular dental check-up, your dentist can check to see how the sealant is doing and whether it needs to be replaced. 

Do benefits cover sealants?

This really depends on your dental coverage plan – some of them do cover sealants, and some don't. You may want to check with your benefits provider before you make an appointment to have them put on. 

Contact Stoney Creek Dental today.

Are you interested in learning more about dental sealants and whether they are right for you? If so, contact Stoney Creek Dental today to set up an appointment. 

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