Although proper oral hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of various oral health concerns, including cavities and periodontal disease, some individuals may benefit from extra protection. Dental sealants are thin, tooth-colored acrylic coatings that are professionally applied to the surface of the teeth, where they provide a physical barrier against bacteria, plaque, acid, food particles, and more. Dental sealants have been proven to be particularly effective in protecting areas of the teeth that can be difficult to clean with regular brushing and flossing.
If you’re interested in dental sealants in Gonzales, either for yourself or your child, get in touch with Gonzales Dental. We offer this simple procedure to help our patients prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and other common oral health issues. In addition to accepting all forms of PPO insurance, CHIPS, and Texas Medicaid, we also offer multiple payment plans for individuals without traditional dental health insurance.
Give us a call at (830) 971-0268 or contact us online today to learn more.
In the simplest terms, dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surface of the teeth. Typically made from acrylic, plastic, and other approved materials, dental sealants are virtually undetectable. Because they are very thin and clear or colored to match, they are essentially invisible and cannot be felt once they have been placed within the mouth.
How Do They Work?
Dental sealants essentially serve as a physical barrier. They are placed directly onto the surface of the tooth, where they prevent food particles and bacteria from becoming lodged and/or accumulating in the depressions, grooves, and pockets of the teeth and gums. This, in turn, helps stop the formation of plaque and tartar, as well as holes in the teeth (cavities) caused by acid.
Dental sealants are beneficial for patients of all ages, but the earlier they are applied, the better. In fact, one study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that children between the ages of 6 and 11 who did not have dental sealants had nearly 3 times the amount of cavities than children from the same age group who did have them.
The CDC also found that, regardless of the age of the patient, dental sealants can protect against up to 80% of cavities for a period of 2 years. After the first 2 years, dental sealants remain effective against approximately 50% of cavities for another 2 years, for a total of 4 years. In some cases, dental sealants have been found to be effective in preventing tooth decay for up to 10 years.
How Are They Applied?
Dental sealants must be applied by a dentist, dental hygienist, or oral health care professional. The process is quick and painless, and the patient is able to chew immediately after the procedure.
Below is a brief overview of how dental sealants are applied:
- First, the tooth is carefully cleaned and dried to prepare for the sealant.
- Next, a dental professional applies an acidic gel to the teeth to help create a rough surface that the sealant can successfully bond to.
- After allowing the gel to sit, the dental professional will rinse and dry the tooth.
- Then, the sealant is applied to the prepared tooth.
- Lastly, the dental professional uses a specialized blue light to instantly harden the sealant.
Dental sealants can be used to both prevent cavities and stop existing tooth decay from progressing. When covering existing cavities, dental professionals typically use clear sealants so that they can continue monitoring the tooth and ensure that no further damage occurs.
Once dental sealants have been applied, your dentist will check them periodically, either during a routine dental exam and check-up or at your teeth cleaning appointment. He or she will make sure that the sealants are working properly and do not have any chips or excessive wear and tear. If necessary, your dentist may recommend replacing your dental sealants over time.
When Should You Get Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are most effective when they are applied soon after permanent molars come in, typically around the age of 11 or 12. However, anyone can benefit from having dental sealants, regardless of age.
Adults who do not have fillings or significant tooth decay in their molars may also be considered good candidates for dental sealants. At Gonzales Dental, we offer dental sealants in Gonzales for both children and adults. Whether you are seeking dental sealants for yourself or your child, we can help you fully understand your options and provide our professional recommendations based on the unique details of your situation.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Sealants?
Most insurance covers dental sealants in patients under the age of 18. However, we recommend that you check your specific policy—or ask one of our friendly staff members—to determine if this procedure is covered.
For those who do not have dental insurance, or whose insurance does not cover dental sealants, Gonzales Dental offers multiple payment plan options. We are happy to work with you to find an oral health care solution that fits your needs and your budget.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (830) 971-0268 or contact us online.
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