4 Benefits of Dental Sealants for Kids and Adults

Tucson, AZ

When dental sealants are appropriately applied, they seal out plaque and residual food particles from getting trapped in the ridges and decompressions of the teeth. Due to their shape and location, dentists typically apply sealants to the premolars and molars (back teeth) to prevent debris from lodging in crevices on chewing surfaces.

Many dentists praise dental sealants for their ability to protect teeth from cavities. Here are four benefits of this tooth-saving procedure:

1. Dental sealants are safe and effective.

Even though dental sealants can be a controversial topic in some dentist circles, research proves that children and adults can benefit from dental sealants. According to a review published by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, resin-based sealants reduced caries by between 11% and 51% compared to no sealant. Some of the controversy surrounding sealants has to deal with the material and application process:

Dental sealants are made of plastic. Are they safe?

Because dental sealants are composed of plastic, some people worry about BPA exposure. Substantial exposure to BPA is linked to potential health effects on the brain and cardiovascular system.

According to the American Dental Association, the BPA present in dental sealants is minuscule. Most people experience more BPA exposure in their daily lives than with dental sealants directly in the mouth, so the ADA considers sealants safe to use.

Why do dental sealants fail?

Dental sealants have a low failure rate—between 5% and 10% each year. Here are two reasons why dental sealants fail and how to prevent failure:

  1. Application: Skilled, steady hands can determine outcome success. If the dentist or hygienist does not apply the sealant correctly, it cannot adequately shut out the bacteria and plaque. Additionally, if the teeth are not closely examined or cleaned before treatment, sealants can seal in the acids—resulting in more harm than good. Both of these instances can lead to cavities. Choose a dentist with experience and patience, one that will take the time to apply the sealant carefully.
  2. Replacement: As time marches on, dental sealants become less effective and must be replaced to reduce the chance of total failure. Routine dental exams ensure that the tooth is sealed correctly.

2. Dental sealants are easy to apply.

Dental sealants are a quick, comfortable, and conservative treatment. The dentist or dental hygienist will:

  • Step 1: Prepare the tooth by cleaning it.
  • Step 2: Apply an acidic gel to gently etch the teeth, strengthening the dental sealant bond to the teeth.
  • Step 3: Rinse away the gel.
  • Step 4: Apply the dental sealant and cure it with UV light.

3. Dental sealants look and feel seamless.

Over time, some people forget that they have a dental sealant because they are virtually unnoticeable. Dental sealants are transparent, thin plastic coating, which feels smooth and natural.

4. Dental sealants are durable.

Dental sealants can last between five to ten years. Bruxism (tooth grinding) and chewing on hard objects can deteriorate the quality and shorten the lifespan of treatment. If you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about a custom nightguard to protect your teeth and the sealant from damage.

Let Us Take Care of Your Smile

At Advanced Family Dentistry, Dr. Payam K. Asadi uses dental sealants as an affordable, safe, and effective method to prevent tooth decay. If you have additional questions about dental sealants, our staff can help. Learn more about dental sealants in Tucson, AZ, by calling (520) 353-3002 or booking an appointment online at your earliest convenience.

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