Dental cavities have turned out to be a real problem in the modern society. This results from the accessibility of chips, crackers, and a wide range of sugary liquids and foods, which have turned to be part of everyone’s daily intake. As a result, you will find people seeking solutions for their cavities, especially when they do not expect to have their teeth removed. Dental sealant is the best solution in these situations and would help both children and adults. Encino Dentist offers excellent dental sealant services to anyone who needs the procedure.
Understanding Dental Sealants
A dental sealant or fissure sealant is a dental procedure that intends to reduce the chances of tooth rot. Teeth have features known as recesses, which are the biting surfaces. The intervals vary depending on the teeth. With the teeth at the back, they are referred to as fissures. With some frontal teeth, they are referred to as cingulum pits. The cracks and pits have the highest vulnerability to tooth decay since it is not easy to clean them, especially when bacteria and food stick on them.
Therefore, dentists prefer to put dental sealant on the fissures and pits to create a smooth surface that one can clean easily. This dental procedure is usual in children since they are at the highest risk of tooth decay. They can also be placed on adults, especially on their molar teeth, since their fissures are well defined compared with other teeth.
Type of Materials Used in Dental Sealants
Nowadays, dental sealants can either be resin-based or based on glass ionomers.
Resin-based sealant has evolved. Each of the generations of this material is different, and some of them are no longer in use. These generations are as follows:
- First Generation: This type of resin-based sealant was set using UV Curing and is no longer in use
- Second Generation: This kind of resin-based sealant were set using chemical-curing process, also known as auto polymerized
- Third Generation: This resin-based sealant is placed using the visible light-cured process
- Fourth Generation: This kind of resin-based sealant contain fluoride
The resin-based sealant contains a compound known as bisphenol A (BPA), and concerns have arisen about the safety of the compound. There is no need to worry about the amount of BPA available in this kind of sealant since it does not pose any harm to the user. Exposure to BPA is quite high through breathing more than its presence in the mouth, making it less harmful.
Glass Ionomer Sealants
Glass Ionomer Sealants(GIC) is another material used to manufacture dental sealants that can bond with dentine and enamel once it has been cleaned with a polyacrylic acid conditioner. One of the benefits of using this type of sealant is the presence of fluoride and less sensitivity to moisture. This implies that the sealant is quite useful despite its poor retention, and may continue preventing occlusal caries even after the sealant falls off since it can release fluoride.
Comparison between Resin Based and Glass Ionomer Sealants
It is hard to compare and pick a specific type of sealant and choose it as your favorite. Both options have the benefits that make them a reliable choice. With the resin-based option, it is usually selected since they are quite lasting. However, they do not produce fluoride as the glass ionomer, making them wholly unreliable.
On the other hand, glass ionomer sealants release fluoride, which helps in the reduction of cavities. That’s why they are the best choice when the patient has issues with moisture control. On their downside, they degenerate with time, which means that they have a shorter lifespan.
Why you Need Dental Sealants
Dental Sealant has numerous advantages. They are usually beneficial to kids, but they can be used in adults as well. In children, the sealant must be set once their permanent molars erupt. In adults, the sealants can be a suitable way to prevent the continuation of tooth decay.
Treating a cavity can be expensive, especially if your insurance does not cover such expenses. With the consideration that most people incur about three-tooth decay in their lifetime, this can be a substantial expense in the long-run. However, with the application of dental sealant, you will save your costs in the future as you try to adopt some corrective measures.
Other options available for the control or treatment of cavities usually takes a lot of time. However, with the use of dental sealant, you are sure of less time and no need to rearrange your schedule to accommodate the treatment. Also, since dental sealant reduces the possibility of dental cavities, it will save your time in the long-run.
Maintain Your Health
Teeth usually decay at a high rate and can be more severe with time. If you have a cavity-filled mouth, your oral and overall health will be compromised. However, if you apply a dental sealant, you are confident that your health is secure, and there is no need to worry about it.
It is a Simple Procedure
Since dental sealants are applied quickly, and there is no pain or discomfort, this makes it the most straightforward dental procedure that one can undertake. This makes it a suitable option for kids who do not love going to the dentist or are scared of them.
Possible Downside of Dental Sealant
Although there are several benefits of dental sealants, there are potential downsides that might arise. These cons are as follows:
- There is a possibility of sealing a decay that is already in existence
- They serve as an option hence represents an additional expenses
- They do not last for a long time
Dental sealants can also fail in their application. The most usual reason for their failure is saliva contamination during the application. However, other factors such as clinical inexperience, lack of cooperation between the client and the dentist, the use of less effective material might also affect its effectiveness.
How Dental Sealants Are Installed
As indicated above, setting the dental sealant takes less time and is inexpensive. The best procedure is well done if two people are applying it. The method is as follows:
Step 1: Preparation
Before the application process kicks off, the dentist must prepare your teeth through various means. The dentist usually cleans the teeth surface using an air polish, which is typically a non-fluoridated pumice paste, Enameloplasty, or hydrogen peroxide. The cleaning process should do away with all heavy stains, debris, or deposits. After cleaning the occlusal surface, the area should be dried thoroughly.
Step 2: Application of the Adhesive
Since sealants do not bond with the teeth directly, there is a need to use an adhesive. The force of an adhesive is improved by a tooth conditioner to ensure that the sealant is retained. The teeth must be isolated to apply the adhesive on individual teeth. The isolation process requires dry-angles, cotton rolls, or only a dental dam.
The dentist might follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the conditioner to stick on the enamel and provide a rinsing period. The procedure is required to be a one-time system, but there are a couple of factors that can limit such an option. Despite the method that you use, the enamel must turn to a white, dull, and chalky product after its use. If it does not appear as expected, the tooth conditioner requires reapplication, as provided by the manufacturer. The dentist should ensure that the teeth are thoroughly dry before applying the sealant.
Step3: The Application Sealant
When applying the sealant, the pits and fissures need filling with the material at approximately halfway-up the cusp ridge. The dentist should check whether there are any bubbles to avoid inadequate polymerization if the dentist is using a curing light.
Step 4: Checking the Sealant
The dentist will use an explorer to place the sealant properly and ensure that it polymerizes. The dentist should also check whether the occlusion with articulating silk or paper and check whether interproximal contacts with a floss.
If the sealant material has a wide interproximal, the dentist should use a scaler to do away with the excess. If the occlusion is quite high, the dentist should use a rotary bar, possibly a number four or eight round. It is recommendable to recheck the occlusion to ensure that it is in a good position. Finally, the dentist will give you post-instruction, as provided by the manufacturer. The dentist should check the sealant at each dental examination.
Once the sealant has been set, you can engage in whatever activity you desire. At first, you will feel as if you are biting onto something, although the odd feeling will go away quickly. After a few days, you will be used to the feel, and you will not even notice if the sealant is on your teeth.
Candidacy for Dental Sealants
Dental sealant is suitable for children with erupting teeth. Such teeth have small indentations that hold food particles and might be hard to clean properly. This usually affects the back teeth in particular since they are easy to carry food particles and allow the growth of bacteria. The use of sealant suits best in children a total preventive dental care. However, it only accounts for a third of complete dental preventive care. Therefore, a parent should adopt other preventive measures to achieve total dental preventive measures.
How to Take Care of Your Dental Sealants
Since the sealant protects the biting surface of the teeth, some gaps are left between your teeth, which remain susceptible to tartar and plaque buildup. The best way to handle tartar and plaque is by brushing your teeth surfaces, including the sealant. Make sure that your toothbrush has soft bristles and use the recommended toothpaste as well. Maintain your brushing procedure, which includes both the top and side as if you had no sealant.
Another great way to protect your teeth is by using an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse the food particles which have been loosened by the flossing and kill any lingering bacteria. Avoid using mouthwash to remove the food particles near the gum line rather than flossing since flossing is the actual procedure that will help in breaking down the bacteria film.
You should also visit your dentist regularly after the dental sealant has been placed. There is no need to adjust your regular dental checkup routine due to the dental sealant. Your dental care routine is enough to maintain your sealant. The dentist will repair the small chips or worn out areas during the regular appointment. With a good dental routine and dentist checkup, the dental sealant can last for as long as ten years.
The Cost of Dental Sealant
The price of a dental sealant is determined by the number of teeth that a patient wants to be set. The cost range per tooth is $30 to $40, but the price might be slightly higher in other places. The price includes the sealing of the tooth and maintenance of the sealant. Most dentists have different policies when it comes to maintaining the sealant. Dental sealant maintenance includes repairing and replacing the deficient sealants. Some dentists might decide to charge you for the repair and do a cost-free replacement while others prefer to do a free fix and charge for the replacement.
Dental Sealant and Medical Coverage
Many dental insurance policies provide coverage for dental sealants. Most insurance companies realize that it is a suitable way to reduce the chances of the tooth cavity, which cuts down the expenses in the long-run. Even so, certain policy limitations might follow. These policies are as follows:
- Most insurance policies may provide coverage to certain types of teeth. It is common for the first and second permanent molars to fall under the insurance. Such coverage does not favor children’s primary teeth or their premolars.
- Coverage might be limited to people of a specific age. In most cases, 16 years is usually the typical cutoff age.
- The policy might limit the frequency of the dental seal. For instance, the insurance policy might put a three to five years limit, which stipulates additional costs if the dental sealant requires sealant within a shorter timeline.
- The deductible of the policy might be included or not. Some plans provide full benefits of the procedure even when the total deductible is not met. Others would not be as generous as expected.
Find an Encino Dentist Near Me
Getting a dental sealant seems to be quite straightforward. However, you must involve a dentist if you want it to be set on your teeth. You need to be thorough with your choice of the dentist since not all can meet your expectations. Encino Dentist offers quality dental care services to clients living in Encino, CA. For more information about our services, call us at 818-650-0429.