Preventative dentistry is one of the best ways to maintain your oral health and avoid costly and more invasive dental procedures. The basic premise of preventative care is to control the amount of bacteria in your mouth. By limiting the amount of harmful bacteria through proper preventative hygiene practices, there is a decreased risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease. For more information, see “Preventative Dentistry”.
One such preventative dental treatment are dental sealants. Unlike most preventative dental treatments, dental sealants do not decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth. However, they do control the amount of bacteria that your teeth are exposed to. Since dental sealants seal the tooth’s enamel, they prevent bacteria from being about to damage the tooth. In order to learn more about dental sealants, here are five facts.
Can Prevent and Treat Tooth Decay
When applied to the teeth, dental sealants are extremely effective in preventing tooth decay. According the to Centers for Disease Control, dental sealants can prevent 50-80% of dental cavities. They work by protecting the tooth’s enamel from food particles and bacteria, both of which are responsible for causing cavities. In addition to preventing cavities, dental sealants can also treat early cavities to prevent them from getting worse.
Comes in Different Colors
Dental sealants are made from an extremely thin plastic material and can be either clear, white, or slightly tinted to the natural color of the teeth. In cases where a cavity is being monitored, clear sealants are generally used to maintain visibility. In most cases, dental sealants are barely noticeable in both appearance and feeling.
Used Predominantly on Molars
Molars contain pits and fissures, which are terms used to describe their textured chewing surface. Unfortunately while these pits and fissures are extremely helpful when chewing, they are also common locations for dental cavities. This is because food particles and bacteria can easily become trapped within the pits and fissures. For this reason, dental sealants are usually applied to the molars as a preventative measure. The application of dental sealants is quite simple and consists of them being brushed onto the tooth’s surface.
Dental sealants can last up to 9 years after their initial application. However, it is important to note that their effectiveness decreases with time. For the first two years after their application, they are 80% effective against cavities. From 2-4 years after their application, they are 50% effective. After four years, they will gradually become less effective over time.
Not only are dental sealants effective and long lasting, but they are a highly affordable dental treatment. On average, it only costs about $30-$60 per tooth to apply a dental sealant. Not only that, but dental sealants can prevent the need for future restorative treatment, saving hundreds.
Overall, dental sealants are a great preventative dental treatment used to prevent bacteria from damaging the tooth’s enamel and causing dental cavities. They are also easy to place, are not noticeable, and can protect teeth for several years after their application. If you are looking for an easy and effective way to protect your teeth, dental sealants may be perfect for you!
Dr. Dokhanchi earned the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) with clinical honors in 1992. Dr. Dokhanchi attends numerous continuing education courses every year in order to stay current with the latest techniques and technology in the world of dentistry. He considers Ethics, Quality, Safety, and Comfort the pillars of his dental practice and believes that communicating with patients is essential to quality dental care.