Protective Dental Sealants Block Out Tooth Decay
What if there was a way to prevent tooth decay in the most cavity-prone areas of you or your child’s mouth? There is! Protective dental sealants are a preventative option that blocks out cavity-causing bacteria, acids, and food debris in the areas that are hardest to clean: the deep grooves and fissures of your back teeth (molars.)
Getting dental sealants only takes a few minutes per tooth, and no numbing or drilling is needed. In fact, we can usually complete your sealants as part of your cleaning and dental checkup (in Princeton, NJ) when you’re here for a six-month visit.
In most cases, specialists such as pediatric dentists or our family dentist will recommend placing the sealant in young children after their permanent molars erupt, which is usually around the ages of 6 and 12, respectively.
How do Dental Sealants Work?
A sealant is a thin layer of plastic-like material that’s brushed into the deep grooves of the teeth and cured into place. As a result, the surface is shallower and smoother, making it easier to clean with a toothbrush each day. To help the material bond as best as possible, the outer layer of enamel is gently etched with a conditioner before the sealant is applied.
However, sealants are not permanent. In fact, eating sticky foods such as caramel or taffy can pull the protective layer off of the tooth. Sealants do not extend down into the enamel the same way a filling does, but rather sit on top of it. As such, they can last for several years but are not something that generally lasts for life. We may occasionally need to touch them up, at least until children are old enough to thoroughly clean the affected teeth well on their own.
Most dental insurance policies will cover 100% of dental sealants until around the age of 14, because of how effective they are at reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Can Adults Get Sealants?
Absolutely. Sealants are effective on permanent molars or premolars at any age. They’re also a fairly affordable procedure, even if insurance does not cover them. Investing in sealants is a great way to reduce your cavity risk well into adulthood.
Preventative Dentistry in Princeton
At Canal Vista Family Dental in Princeton, NJ we understand that most common dental ailments are avoidable. That’s why Dr. Bestandji recommends non-invasive preventative techniques such as sealants, fluoride, and diagnostic X-rays to minimize the risk for more aggressive and invasive oral health problems in the future.
Ask if you or your child is a candidate for dental sealants during your next exam and cleaning. We welcome Princeton dental patients of all ages, making it easy for your family to access high quality dental care in one convenient location. Call us today to request your first appointment!