Does My Child Need Dental Sealants? Pros, Cons, and Costs

Does My Child Need Dental Sealants? Pros, Cons, and Costs

Aug 01, 2023

Dentists are dedicated to helping patients maintain excellent oral health. Therefore, they offer preventive dentistry procedures to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. One of these procedures is dental sealants application. Read on why you should get your child dental sealants from the kids dentist in Conway.

What Are Dental Sealants?

They are thin glass ionomer or resin coatings applied on the chewing surface of teeth to prevent decay. The dentist applies sealants on the rough and uneven surfaces of the teeth. This material prevents debris and plaque from accumulating in the pits and grooves. As a result, the teeth are effectively protected from decay and cavities.

The Best Candidates for Dental Sealants

Dentists recommend dental sealants for children because they are prone to decay. Your child should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they erupt. Dentists also recommend dental sealants for adults. The protective materials help adults prevent decay. They blend with the color of teeth protecting their teeth discreetly.

The best candidates for dental sealants include the following:

  1. Kids with intense grooves and pits in their molars hide debris and plaque, which cause decay.
  2. Kids or adults with abnormally thin enamel are very prone to decay.
  3. Children with little saliva because they breathe through their mouths more often than their noses. They are prone to decay because saliva helps flush out debris and bacteria.
  4. Children or adults with special needs prevent them from maintaining proper oral hygiene.
  5. Adults who experience extreme tooth sensitivity need sealants for sensitive teeth.
  6. Senior or bedridden adults unable to clean their teeth or attend regular dental visits.

Dental Sealants by the Numbers

Dental sealants can prevent cavities for up to 10 years. However, their effectiveness reduces after each year. According to the CDC, sealants are most effective in the first two years. They prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth. They maintain good effectiveness to the fourth year, where they only stop 50% of cavities. They become less effective year after year.

Statistics show that children without sealants have three times more cavities than those with them. Therefore, the CDC recommends dental sealants for kids between 6-12 years. They endorse school sealant programs for kids less likely to receive private dental care get sealants. Sealants save more than $11 in dental treatment costs per tooth.

Do Dental Sealants Last Forever?

No, dental sealants do not last forever. They last for about ten years after placement if adequately maintained. However, they can become damaged or fall off during this period reducing their effectiveness. Sealant durability depends on the sealant material and how well it is applied. Fortunately, the kids’ dentist near you can reapply damaged or dislodged sealants.

Other factors that make sealants last a shorter time include the following:

  • Consuming acidic foods and drinks that erode the sealant material
  • Opening packages, bottles, or containers using teeth, thereby chipping the sealant
  • Chewing hard foods or items that damage or remove sealants
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth frequently damages the chewing surfaces and sealants

Benefits of Sealants

Dental sealants for kids and adults have numerous benefits, including the ones below.

  1. The dental sealant procedure is easy, fast, and painless. It is suitable for patients of all ages, including those with disabilities or special needs.
  2. Sealants are effective in preventing decay, cavities, and subsequent gum disease.
  3. Getting sealants saves money that would have been spent treating decay.
  4. Sealants fill deep grooves and pits, making it easy to maintain proper oral hygiene.
  5. It is easy to maintain dental sealants and help them remain effective for longer.

Risks of Sealants

There are a few disadvantages of dental sealants. One problem with sealants is they can crack or chip allowing bacteria to enter and cause decay. Fortunately, you can avoid sealant damage by following your dentist’s instructions. Also, the dentist can reapply damaged sealants.

Another problem is exposure to the chemical BPA (bisphenol A) found in plastics. It is linked to issues like cancer and infertility. Fortunately, the amount of BPA in sealants is too little to harm you. In addition, you can get glass ionomer dental sealants instead of resin composite sealants. These are BPA-free.

The Last Word on Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are very effective in protecting against cavities. The dental sealant procedure is straightforward, fast, and comfortable. So, do not hesitate to get your child sealants. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Ellis at Kids First Dental.

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