What are Dental Sealants? Ask Our Sherrills Ford Pediatric Dentist
Dental sealants can prevent cavities in children and adults for years. However, they can be costly, and some parents express concerns about safety risks. In today’s post, our Sherrill’s Ford pediatric dentist will address some of these concerns, and explain why dental sealants can be a great addition to a proactive oral health routine.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic-like coating that is painted onto teeth to protect them from bacteria which cause cavities. The sealants can be retained in the mouth for up to nine years, and have been shown to be highly effective at preventing cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities for two years after application, and continue to protect against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years.
How Much Do Dental Sealants Cost?
When one considers that they provide protection to up to a decade, dental sealants are relatively inexpensive. Though costs vary between dental practices, dental sealants generally cost about $30 to $60 per tooth. Some insurance or discount plans can reduce that cost even further.
Disadvantages of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are painless and noninvasive, but like all dental treatments, they do have associated risks. If the sealants are chipped, damaged, or worn away, they may need to be reapplied. In replacement, excess tooth material may need to be drilled down or removed with a scaler. Some parents have also expressed concern that the synthetic resins used to make dental sealants often contain synthetic estrogens such as bisphenol A (BPA). However, salivary levels of BPA have been shown to return to normal levels within 24 hours of application. Additionally, clinical studies have not detected blood serum levels of BPA.
When Should My Child Receive Sealants?
Both adults and children can benefit from sealants. Most pediatric dentists recommend that sealants be applied as soon as the child’s molars and premolars, the teeth containing pits and fissures where bacteria can collect, emerge. This usually happens at 6, 12, and 18 years of age.
Baby or primary teeth can be sealed, but the child should be old enough to tolerate the procedure. Although application of sealants is painless, the child will need to hold their mouth open and remain still for several minutes. For this reason, treatment is usually only performed on young children if there is a high risk of tooth decay.
Get Sealants and Other Treatments with Our Sherrill’s Ford Pediatric Dentist
At Sherrill’s Ford Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that dental sealants are a safe and effective way to mitigate cavities and tooth decay. Studies have shown that school-aged children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children who do have them. Therefore, we recommend them for all our young patients. If you would like to request an appointment for sealants or any other children’s dental treatment, please click here!