Does your child need dental sealants? Dental sealants are a thin protective coating used on the premolar and molar surfaces to seal the teeth and protect them from food particles that cause bacteria to grow and tooth decay.
Dental sealants protect against cavities, but if your child develops tooth decay, several restorative treatments can be done. It could be:
- Tooth extraction – is used to pull impacted, damaged, or decayed teeth. Remember, when you lose the permanent teeth, they will not grow back and you will need dental implants and other orthodontic treatments to replace your teeth.
- A root canal procedure – is done to remove the infected pulp and prevent the infections from spreading to the surrounding tissues.
These restorative dental treatments can permanently alter the jawbone structure. Plus, the treatments need maintenance which can be expensive.
Dental sealants are recommended for children and teenagers aged six and 14 years as they are more likely to develop dental cavities. However, we also have dental sealants for adults who don’t have tooth decay or fillings.
For the best results, you should apply sealants as soon as the child’s permanent teeth start to emerge. You can also use dental sealants on the primary teeth if they are worn out. Keep in mind that primary teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth. So, if they are lost prematurely, it could lead to diastema and crowding, creating the need for braces and orthodontic treatments.
How Do They Work?
At times, regular brushing and flossing are not enough. Even with excellent oral hygiene, you could still miss the back teeth which are prone to bacterial growth and cavities. Using these dental sealants not only protects your teeth but also prevents bacteria growth and ensures the dental structure stays intact.
According to research, dental sealants can prevent up to 80% of dental cavities within the first two years after application.
How Long Do the Dental Sealants Last?
The CDC states that dental sealants can last for nine years, but the success of the sealants depends on how they are applied. If not done correctly, dental sealants have a lower rate of success. You should, therefore, ensure you visit a board-certified dental clinic such as Green Tree Dental. Our dentist will monitor your sealants to ensure they don’t wear out.
Are There Any Complications?
Dental sealants are safe but can cause allergic reactions. Furthermore, the sealants may increase salivary BPA or Bisphenol A three hours after application. Plastic is the common dental sealant material and it contains, a synthetic resin—Bisphenol A. BPA has been reported to disrupt thyroid function, central nervous system, and immune system.
Yes, dental sealants may rise the salivary BPA. However, it’s no cause of alarm as the BPA levels return to baseline levels after 24 hours and will not cause any adverse effects. You can choose other dental sealant materials, but they may not be as effective.
How To Apply Dental Sealant?
It takes a few minutes to apply the plastic coatings to the teeth. Once the dentist has examined your dental health, they will clean the teeth and apply an acid solution on the tooth surface. This solution hardens and roughens the enamel to enable the sealant to stick to the tooth. Finally, the dental sealant will be fixed.