Dental sealant is a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of back teeth usually the premolars and molars. Deep pits and fissures of back teeth trap plaque and food particles causing cavities. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth( the most caries vulnerable areas) forming a protective barrier over the enamel by "sealing out" plaque and food.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealant is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for your hygienist to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. The application steps are as follows:
- First the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
- The teeth are then rinsed and dried.
- Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants do wear. The sealant material is softer then natural tooth and can slowly wear away over time. Sealants need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups. If the tooth needs to be resealed , old sealant doesn't need to be removed completely. New sealant can be applied on top of any remaining old sealant. Depending on a diet sealants can last 7 to 10 years.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Sealants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of sealants. We check with your dental insurance carrier to determine if sealants are covered under your plan.
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