Children are particularly vulnerable to cavities and tooth decay, and brushing and flossing are not always enough to protect their teeth. That’s why dental sealants are an available option for parents to choose so they can reduce their child’s risk. Kinder Smiles in Bergen County NJ offers dental sealants as a treatment option.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealant is a thin coating of plastic that bonds to your child’s most vulnerable teeth to protect them from damage. The coating acts as a shield over the tooth enamel, especially the nooks and crannies that are more difficult to brush and floss. This additional layer prevents sugar and other food particles from causing tooth decay and cavities from forming.
Dr. Darryl Engel will perform an examination of your child’s teeth to determine if using dental sealants is right for them. The process begins with Dr. Engel cleaning and drying the tooth or teeth to prepare for applying the sealant. An acidic gel creates tiny grooves in the surface of the enamel so the sealant has a rough surface for a stronger bond. The gel works in a few seconds and Dr. Engel rinses it off. He will then dry the tooth off again and apply the sealant. The sealant hardens quickly but may require the use of a special blue light to activate hardening. No worries, the whole process is painless.
A Key Pediatric Dentistry Tool
Dental sealants are a key tool in pediatric dentistry. Children between the ages of 6 and 14 are typical patients who benefit from dental sealants, which Dr. Engel usually applies to permanent molars and pre-molars to give those teeth extra protection.
Dental sealants are also an option for baby teeth that already have grooves and deep depressions. Protecting these teeth is vital because early baby tooth loss can result in other teeth shifting to fill the gap before the underlying adult tooth can erupt. This can affect other teeth and cause serious misalignment problems later on that will require orthodontic treatment to correct.
Kinder Smiles focuses on early treatment, which is best to prevent minor problems from becoming more serious issues. This includes cavity prevention.
Benefits Of Dental Sealants
Sealants effectively reduce the risk of decay in molars by up to 80 percent. The Centers for Disease Control reports that children who don’t have sealants protecting their teeth have three times as many cavities as those who do. Again, sealants provide children with an extra layer of protection for their back teeth, which have the highest risk of cavities and tooth decay because they are more challenging to clean. The sealant can also be applied to early tooth decay to prevent further damage.
Are Dental Sealants Noticeable?
The sealant is usually clear or tooth-colored, making it less visible. And because the sealants are primarily for back teeth, it’s harder to see anyway.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Sealants can last for up to ten years, but your dentist should check them from time to time to make sure they are still intact and working. If re-application is necessary, Dr. Engel will repeat the same process to apply the new sealant.
The cost of sealants is relatively small at $30 to $60 per tooth, which is less than the cost of a filling that could develop without the special coating of protection. Dental insurance plans do cover dental sealants, but usually only until the patient reaches the age of 18. Kinder Smiles will gladly help you file insurance claims and we offer monthly payment plans to make treatment more affordable.
Dental sealants are an affordable and practical treatment option to prevent cavities and tooth decay in children’s teeth. Parents can avoid costly dental visits to fix cavities by asking Dr. Engel about sealants. These sealants last for many years and will save parents money and stress. To learn more, call Kinder Smiles at 201-262-0211 today!