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Dental Sealants

Good dental hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing and routine dental checkups, is critical to protecting your oral health. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, our teeth can still become damaged and decayed, especially the molars deep in the back of the mouth. Not only are they hard to reach, but deep crevices and grooves can be hard to clean with brushing alone, providing plenty of places for bacteria to accumulate and cause cavities

Castle Dental offers dental sealants as a supplemental treatment option to prevent damage and decay in the back molars and maintain a healthy smile. A thin layer of resin or plastic adhered to the chewing surface of a tooth, dental sealants provide a protective cap that smooths the top of the teeth, keeping bacteria out and making them easier to care for and less susceptible to cavities.

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Who is a good candidate for dental sealants?

While anyone at any age can benefit from dental sealants, children and young adults stand to benefit the most from them, especially for the long-term. Applying sealants onto brand new molars as soon as they erupt ensures that the teeth will be protected from cavities from the very beginning. Children can get sealants as soon as their molars break through, sometimes as young as 6, with a second set of molars coming in around age 12, and the sooner dental sealants are applied, the sooner they can start protecting the teeth. 

Dental sealants are also a great option for people who are prone to cavities. Even people with consistently good dental hygiene may develop cavities due to genetics, medications or lifestyle choices. The added layer of protection dental sealants provide can prevent decay and save significant time and money in the future. Be sure to talk to your dentist to see if you have teeth with particularly deep grooves or if you or someone in your family has a history of cavities. 

Even though sealants are intended to be preventative, they can still be applied to teeth that have had previous cavities. They are different from crowns, which are a restorative dental treatment. Crowns are used to protect the entire tooth and restore its durability. Sealants are designed to protect the surface of the tooth and prevent any new cavities from forming

What are the steps in getting a dental sealant?

Sealants are a simple procedure with little to no pain and without the need for a local anesthetic.

Here’s what happens when you get a dental sealant:

  1. Your dentist will begin by cleaning the tooth thoroughly.
  2. Once the tooth has been prepared, it will be isolated using a dental dam or guaze. 
  3. Next, your dentist will begin a process called acid etching. Acid etching roughens up the surface of the tooth to prepare it for an adhesive. (Smooth surfaces are not ideal for a strong bond.) The process requires a gel to be placed on the surface that will receive the sealant. The gel stays in place for 15-30 seconds, leaving microscopic abrasions. 
  4. The acid etching gel is then rinsed away and dried.
  5. The sealant is then applied to the surface of the tooth.
  6. The sealant will begin to harden on its own but your dentist may use a UV light to expedite the process. 
  7. Finally, your dentist will clean the tooth, ensuring no chemical residue remains. 

The process is fast, usually only taking a few minutes, but dental sealants can last for years.

What are the types of dental sealants?

There are two primary types of sealants, each with their own advantages. You and your dentist will discuss the right option for you or your child’s particular needs prior to the appointment. 

Composite resin sealants are made from a mixture of plastic compounds and ceramics. They are very durable, can last up to a decade, and are ideal for primary and permanent teeth. 

Glass Ionomer sealants are a cement mixture made of silicate glass powder. The distinct difference between this and resin is that glass ionomers contain fluoride, an enamel strengthening mineral that releases slowly over time. Additionally, these sealants do not require acid etching like composite resin sealants.

Both sealant types are naturally colored and inconspicuous, and you shouldn’t be able to feel them once they are in place. If your bite feels different after you get a sealant, your dentist can easily shape the hardened material to fit more naturally against your other teeth. 

Both sealants are long-lasting with proper dental care. Though they may need to be reapplied after several years, they won’t have to be removed before more material can be applied. 

How can you care for your dental sealant?

Getting a dental sealant shouldn’t interfere with any of your normal activities or functions and you should be able to eat and drink very soon after. However, there are a few things you can do to help preserve your dental sealant and prevent any damage.

  1. Don’t use your teeth to open things, crack nuts, or crunch ice. 
  2. Schedule regular dental checkups so your dentist can check on the sealant and make sure it’s still doing its job.
  3. Keep in mind that just because you have added protection, your newly-treated teeth still need regular maintenance and care. Twice daily brushing and flossing are essential to preventing decay and preserving the health of your teeth and gums. 

What are the costs of dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a convenient, affordable way to protect your teeth, averaging between $30 – $60 per tooth, though you should check with your dentist for exact pricing. Moreover, because it is preventative, most dental insurances will cover part or even all of the cost of getting dental sealants.

Dental sealants are a relatively small investment in your oral health that can save you the time, money, and hassle of more serious procedures that come with cavities and tooth decay. If you don’t have insurance or need help affording dental sealants, Castle Dental offers a variety of options to help you get the care you deserve. We accept CareCredit and offer our OneSmile Dental Plan with benefits including free x-rays and cleanings and discounted treatments such as sealants. 

Affordable Dental Sealants at Castle Dental

At Castle Dental, we know the value of preventative treatment to protect your dental health, and we believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile. In addition to dental sealants, we offer many other affordable preventative care options for maintaining your pearly whites, including fluoride treatments, cleanings and examinations. And, with flexible hours and multiple convenient locations, you can get the care you need when and where it’s convenient for you. 

Call Castle Dental at 1-800-867-6453 or visit us online to schedule your appointment today. It’s never too early to start taking care of your teeth!