Daily brushing and flossing remain the best way to care for your oral health over the long term, but there are other steps you can take to help support your efforts. Dental sealants are an excellent way to prevent cavities, particularly in children whose dental care can sometimes be spotty, regardless of how hard parents try to monitor it. A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that sealants can prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth, where most cavities occur. Sealants are an important aspect of family dentistry in Surrey BC, and we recommend them for patients in every age group.
What Dental Sealants Are
A dental sealant is a thin coating usually made from composite resin. The material is painted onto the chewing surface of each tooth, then cured to harden it using a special, high-intensity light. Sealing the teeth provides protective coverage that prevents plaque and food from building up in the difficult-to-reach back molars. The smooth surface helps prevent cavity-causing bacteria from multiplying and causing cavities, root canal infections, or the eventual need for dental implants or crowns.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
- They're suitable for patients of any age. Sealants can be applied to the teeth of children or adults and deliver excellent results regardless of the patient's age. The coating can be used on baby teeth soon after they erupt and should be repeated at regular intervals over the years. The sealant material gradually wears away naturally, so it's essential to repeat the application periodically to maintain effectiveness.
- Sealants are affordable. A sealant is such a good option because the cost is relatively inexpensive compared with other dental procedures. Sealants typically cost between $50 and $100 per tooth. Our dentists will be able to give you an official estimate before you make a final decision. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the consultation and a portion of the sealant treatment costs.
- The procedure is non-invasive. The application of dental sealants is entirely non-invasive, so there's no risk to the patient. No anesthetic or dental sedation is required, the tooth structure remains intact, and a sealant can be removed at any time. This factor makes sealants an attractive option for a family dentistry in Surrey BC.
- Sealants are invisible. The material used in the application of dental sealants is either white or clear, which ensures that it blends easily with the colour of the teeth. This fact makes it invisible to others, so nobody will realize you have had preventive dental work.
- The application is pain-free. Applying dental sealants is practically painless. Our dentists use a brush to paint the sealant liquid onto the outer surface of each tooth. Drying takes a few minutes and then you can rinse your mouth out and the procedure is finished.
- Sealants last a long time. Dental sealants typically offer protection against cavities for between 5 and 10 years. During your regular bi-annual dental examinations, we'll check the condition of the sealant for any signs of wear or chipping. If this happens, we can touch up the affected area with sealant to maintain the proper protection against tooth decay and cavities.
- Easy to care for. Teeth that are sealed require the same care as natural, uncoated teeth. It's important to note that having dental sealants doesn't replace any aspect of your usual oral hygiene regime, so twice-daily brushing and flossing are still on the cards. The sealant adds to the benefits of good care, however, because they preserve the teeth and avoid the need for more extensive dental treatments or a smile makeover later in life.
As a leading family dentistry in Surrey BC, our qualified and experienced team can help to preserve your oral health. For more information on dental sealants as a way to prevent tooth decay and cavities, please click here to schedule an appointment with us.