What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a popular way to prevent cavities, particularly in younger kids. But are they right for you or your children? In this post, we’ll take a look at the basics about dental sealants, and their pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision.
What Is A Dental Sealant?
Dental sealants are, essentially, a type of specialized plastic resin, used to treat the rear molars and other teeth that are at risk of decay.
When applied to a clean tooth, a dental sealant helps fill in pockmarks and imperfections that could develop into cavities, preventing tooth decay.
The Benefits Of Dental Sealants
So, what are a few of the benefits of dental sealants? Here’s what you need to know.
- Easy and painless – Dental sealants do not require any kind of invasive surgical procedure. The process is completely pain-free.
- Takes only a few minutes per tooth – Each treated tooth only takes a few minutes, so you can treat all of your molars in just a single appointment.
- Reduces risk of cavities by up to 80% – Dental sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay by up to 80% in 6-year molars, making them extremely effective.
- Long-lasting – The typical dental sealant lasts 5-10 years, and can be re-applied once it deteriorates.
The Drawbacks Of Dental Sealants
Though they are very useful, dental sealants are not perfect. Here are a couple of disadvantages of dental sealants.
- Not always necessary with proper oral hygiene – Proper brushing and flossing will prevent cavities altogether, so not everyone needs dental sealants, but even with proper oral hygiene sealants may be necessary. Some people have deeper pits and fissures than others. Deep pits and fissures in your teeth can be plaque traps that cannot be cleaned properly. Sealants to do not protect against cavities near the gumline and flossing cavities!
- Cannot be used on filled teeth – Any tooth that has already been filled or is already decayed will not benefit from dental sealants.
- Some worry about bisphenol-a (BPA) – Most sealant materials contain small bits of BPA, associated with some chronic health conditions. Although the ADA says that these sealants are completely safe, some parents may not agree.
Know If Dental Sealants Are Right For You!
If you are at a high risk of developing cavities, or you want to protect your child from tooth decay, sealants are a great choice.
Sealants are one of the best ways to protect your teeth, and compared to the benefits, the drawbacks of dental sealants are negligible.
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