Despite trying with the best of intentions, your child will get cavities. Deep grooves are common in children’s teeth where bacteria can colonize and grow. Dental sealants are the best protection in avoiding tooth decay in children’s permanent molars.
The doctors and the oral healthcare professionals at Crystal Creek Dental, located near you in Plano, want to educate their patients (or the parents of their patients), current and new, on the benefits of dental sealants.
Teaching children good and consistent oral hygiene habits is always good, but the best way to prevent cavities in children is the application of dental sealants. A sealant is a thin coating of plastic material painted on pre-molars, molars and wisdom teeth to protect them from decay. The procedure is painless, non-invasive and covered by most dental plans.
Plaque can accumulate in the depressions and grooves, called fissures, of the back teeth, some of which can be as narrow as a single brush bristle. These fissures are prevalent in permanent molars when they first erupt through the gum line.
The sealants protect all chewing surfaces of the back molars by providing a smooth surface for efficient brushing, flossing and rinsing. However, sealants need to be monitored and maintained as they can wear and chip. The replacement of a sealant will involve the drilling or the scaling of excess material before a new coat is applied.
It is estimated that 43% of children ages 6-11 have dental sealants. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that applying sealants as a school-based program would save nearly $300 million in dental treatment costs.
The CDC has also reported that sealants prevent 80% of cavities for 2 years after application, and up to 50% of cavities after 4 years.
There is some concern about the exposure of the environment to bisphenol A (BPA) contained in the sealant. Studies show that the salivary BPA levels peak within 3 hours after the procedure and return to base line levels by the next day.
Any concerns about BPA exposure do not outweigh the amount of chemicals contained in the dental materials used to treat tooth decay.
The benefits of dental sealants greatly outweigh the risks.
If the application of the sealant is perfect, then the sealant should last for the life of the tooth. Realistically, though, sealants need to be replaced.
Children and young adults at the ages of 6, 12 and 18, the ages when pre-molars, molars and wisdom teeth erupt from the gums, should get sealants applied. Primary teeth can be sealed, but the child needs to be able to tolerate the procedure. This means the child needs to be able to keep their mouth open and sit still for a few minutes.
There is a lot of information that can be searched on dental sealants. If you would like a consultation regarding the benefits of dental sealants for your child and any concern stemming from your research, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Crystal Creek Dental, located in Plano, where new patients are always welcome.
Crystal Creek Dental is trusted and highly recommended as the expert in dental sealants, as well as other treatments and procedures in pediatric and general dentistry.