Monday, February 6, 2012

Protecting Your Teeth with Dental Sealants by Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

Because our teeth are at their most vulnerable during childhood, children and teenagers can benefit greatly from extra protection against the build up of bacteria and plaque. Sealants are a widely used, accepted, and worthwhile preventive dentistry tool that can provide this protection.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are clear or light plastic composites used to help protect teeth from the constant onslaught of bacteria. Your San Antonio sealant dentist targets hard-to-clean areas such as molar pits and fissures and strategically places sealant in the grooves of teeth to make them less accessible to bacteria. These areas are very difficult to clean no matter how well you brush and floss. Cavities that appear during childhood typically surface in these hard-to-reach pits so filling them with sealant is very helpful in preventing cavities and keeping their mouths healthy.

How Is Sealant Applied?

Your dentist will determine whether or not a sealant the proper option for you or your child. If it is determined to be beneficial, sealant can be applied swiftly and painlessly in one appointment. A dental hygienist or dentist will clean and dry the teeth. The sealant is then applied and cured with a special light. Some sealants self-cure via a chemical process. The patient is able to resume normal eating habits immediately after the appointment.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Depending on your eating habits and oral hygiene, sealants may last 5 or 10 years. Your dentist will check the sealant during routine dental appointments. If they appear to be showing too much wear, your dentist may opt to reapply.

Which Teeth Benefit Most from Sealant Application?

Molars and premolars benefit the most from sealants due to their hard-to-clean pits and crevices. However, your dentist may opt to target different teeth for more effective coverage.

What Does it Cost to Have Sealants Applied?

Although the price will vary depending on your dentist and community, sealants are relatively inexpensive compared to other dental procedures. And they offer tremendous savings in the long term given that they effectively prevent cavities. Many insurance companies cover sealants as they are considered a preventive dentistry procedure.

For expert cosmetic, general and family dentistry in San Antonio, consult with one of the professional dentists at Culebra North Dental Care. Drs. Quillian and Sproull have provided families in Texas with quality dental services for over 30 years.