What are dental sealants?
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is painted on to the chewing surface of a tooth. It is most common for sealants to be placed on permanent molars and premolars (back teeth) to prevent decay. Sealants are a protective shield over the enamel that quickly bonds to the grooves of the tooth.
Sealants are highly recommended for children and teenagers to help prevent any decay throughout their most cavity-prone years of ages 6 through 14. In some cases, it is recommended to place sealants on baby teeth as well if they have deep depressions or grooves. It is important to take care of the baby teeth because they play such an important role in the correct spacing of the permanent teeth, so it is beneficial to avoid losing baby teeth too early due to preventable decay. While flossing and brushing can remove plaque and food from the smooth surfaces of the teeth, it is harder to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Especially on those back teeth. That is where sealants come in handy to help protect those more vulnerable areas by “sealing out” food and plaque.
The application of sealants is a quick and painless procedure. Sealants can help protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they do need to be checked regularly by your dentist or hygienist for chipping or normal wearing. Luckily, sealants can be replaced as often as necessary, if needed. Most insurance companies cover the cost of sealants up to a certain age limit, which can vary with each plan. At Oakwood Dental, we are happy to verify your benefits for you to see what coverage you have.