Pros and Cons of Dental Sealants
Dental decay is, by far, the most prevalent dental problem in the world. It affects people of all ages, and more especially kids between six and twelve years old. Luckily, the problem is treatable through various procedures such as dental fillings
, root canals
, and even dental bonding
. However, if the decay extends to the dental pulp, the dentist may have to extract the affected tooth to prevent it from spreading to the surrounding teeth.
That said, you should work very hard to ensure you don’t lose a permanent tooth because it is irreplaceable. Even the best missing tooth replacement can’t be as functional as your natural teeth. Luckily, you can prevent dental decay by maintaining proper oral hygiene and seeing the dentist every six months.
If you are prone to cavities or your kid is, the dentist may suggest the use of dental sealants
. Sealants are considered the most effective way of preventing cavities. But are they perfect? Like anything, sealants are not perfect. They have their strengths and weaknesses. In this blog, we discuss the pros and cons of the procedure to help you make an informed decision.
What is a Dental Sealant?
It is a protective barrier usually made of plastic used on tooth fissures to prevent food particles from meeting bacteria in the mouth. Typically, the two form cavity-causing acids when they meet. These acids attack the enamel, causing holes we all refer to as cavities. If they are stopped from the meeting, the risk of developing cavities is reduced drastically.
Using sealants has many advantages to the user. These advantages include:
Easy and Pain-Free Procedure
The sealant procedure is easy, pain-free, and fast. You will not need to visit the dentist more than once to get sealants. In fact, you can get sealants without booking an appointment beforehand. That said, the risk of complications is usually very low if a procedure is easy. That means the procedure is usually safe and can be conducted by any dentist.
What’s more, it will cost you less since the dentist will not spend too much time on you, and the sealant material is not expensive. With other procedures, you may have to visit the dentist at least twice to get them done. Furthermore, most of them require you to come along with someone to drive you home after the procedure because of the use of sedation. The sealant procedure rarely uses sedation, so you can drive yourself home.
Prevents Plaque Buildup
Typically, plaque buildup is the mother of most dental problems, including dental decay and gum disease. Your daily oral care routine gets rid of most food particles, but it is not always enough. With sealants, the risk of plaque buildup is very low.
Easy to Repair and Maintain
If your sealants are chipped, they can be repaired within a few minutes so that they can continue protecting your teeth effectively. Sealants are also quite easy to care for. You will not need to buy any special cleaning tools and chemicals or change your care routine. Just continue cleaning your teeth at least twice a day, floss every night, use mouthwash whenever possible, and visit the dentist at least twice a year.
Often Covered by Insurance
Most dental insurance providers cover the cost of sealants. However, be sure to confirm with your provider since every plan is different. Still, the cost of treatment is quite affordable. You can comfortably pay for it out of pocket.
Saves Time and Money
If you look at the bigger picture, sealants prevent cavities and gum disease. Therefore, you will not lose your natural teeth. If your natural teeth remain intact, you will not need expensive replacement procedures. You will also not need to visit the dentist every now and then with toothaches, saving you time and money.
Sealants are very effective, but they are not perfect. They have a few cons, which include:
- Dental sealants are not durable. They averagely last for five to seven years.
- There is always the risk of applying sealants over cavities. This rarely happens, but it does not mean it can’t happen.
- Some individuals are concerned that sealants contain traces of BPA.
- Not everyone is a perfect candidate for sealants.
Now that you have an idea of how dental sealants can help you, it is time to visit your dentist. If you are looking to know if dental sealants can help you, visit us at Olivia Rodrigues DDS
. Our team of friendly experts can help you maintain a radiant smile.