In honour of Valentines Day, Brinkley Dental, located in Brampton, thought we would have a little fun with a play on words. That is, rather than “sealing it with a kiss” we thought today we would talk about sealants. When should you use them and why? If you’re not familiar with sealants, we will start the conversation with what they are and as always, by the time you’re done reading, if you have any questions at all, you should give the team here at Brinkley a call!
What are Sealants?
Dental sealant is essentially a plastic type of coating that is placed on the chewing surface of permanent teeth – usually the back teeth and specifically the molars and premolars. They are meant to protect your teeth from decay. Generally speaking the back teeth are particularly susceptible because they have grooves or “fissures” that make them more vulnerable to decay. Essentially, the sealant acts a protective barrier against plaque and harmful acids.
When and Why are Sealants recommended?
Opinions will vary from Dentist to Dentist on both when and why to use sealants. For adults, sealants can act as a preventative measure against cavities on our permanent teeth. This in turn might then be helpful in preventing further decay requiring dental procedures like root canals. Some Dentists recommend that sealants be applied to children’s teeth again, as a preventative measure. The most common recommendation however, seems to be to seal 1st molars because these are the teeth intended to serve us for our entire lifetime. Sealing them just makes good sense! Many studies have been conducted showing the efficacy of sealing teeth vs. not sealing them. Statistically, averages would suggest that approximately 50% of teeth that are unsealed go on to develop cavities (of those teeth already identified at risk) vs. less than 12% of sealed teeth developing a cavity. Things to consider when determining whether and when to seal teeth really has much to do with the age and the level of anticipated co-operation of a patient. Sealant do take some time to apply so having a four year old sit still for the time required might be next to impossible! Patients may also want to consider how long sealants last. Generally, they are considered successful if they last between 3 – 5 years. For many, cost too is a factor although of course, weighing the cost of sealants against the cost of cavity repairs might be something you wish to consider – especially if you don’t have dental insurance!
So when it comes to “sealing it with a kiss” there are enough factors to consider around sealants that having an in-depth conversation about them with your dental care provider is pretty important. He or she can answer all of your questions or concerns and together make a decision about what is right for your mouth and teeth! The team at Brampton Brinkley Dental is happy to be a part of that conversation anytime. We hope you had an amazing Valentine’s Day with your loved ones and family and where appropriate, you and your special Valentine “sealed it with a kiss!” In the meantime, as our family friendly dental team always likes to remind you: ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”