What are Dental Sealants?
Prevention is one of the primary goals of routine dental care. One way in which we can protect teeth from decay is with dental sealants. This quick and convenient treatment is nothing new, but has gained ground as an effective method of care.
Sealants are protective sheaths of plastic material that are placed into the deep grooves that are inherent to molars. Children, and even adults, may be more prone to cavities on the chewing surface of back teeth because pits are too deep to be adequately reached with a toothbrush. Sealant material is painted onto applicable teeth, where it hardens and creates a barrier against debris and bacteria. Once they are in place, sealants can last up to ten years.
Most people think of sealants as a pediatric dental treatment. Children who are prone to decay in primary teeth, as well as children whose permanent teeth have erupted, are prime candidates for dental sealants, according to the American Dental Association. However, it is certainly not unheard of for an adult with a predisposition to decay to obtain this preventive treatment.
Sealants are an Effective Method of Prevention
The efficacy of dental sealants has been demonstrated through decades of research. The resin-based coating placed onto molars is said to immediately reduce the instance of cavities up to 80%. Even after four or more years in place, protection remains up at the 60% range.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that only between 20 and 40% of children are treated with dental sealants. The most common reason cited by this organization is simply that many dental offices do not offer this procedure. Patients of O’Brien Dental Care in Shakopee are encouraged to ask us about dental sealants during routine visits.
We Care about Safety and Longevity
One of the concerns that many parents have when discussing dental sealants is the presence of BPA, or Bisphenol A, a type of resin. In recent years, research has suggested that BPA in plastic cups and other plastic products may disrupt hormonal regulation. As a result of ongoing research, the FDA banned this ingredient in children’s cups and baby bottles. When it comes to dental sealants, parents need not worry; no BPA is contained in the liquid solution placed onto teeth.
Cavities can lead to more serious problems, such as infection near the tooth root. Protect your teeth and your children’s teeth with dental sealants from Dr. O’Brien. Call (952) 445-6657.