Other than brushing and flossing, dental sealants are the most effective way to prevent new cavities from forming on natural teeth. Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surfaces of teeth. Most back teeth have natural grooves in the chewing surfaces that are difficult to thoroughly clean when brushing. Sealants work by “sealing off” these grooves from plaque and bacteria. Both children and adults can benefit from having sealants placed on their back teeth. Sealants are generally recommended as soon as the adult 1st molars begin to erupt into the mouth, usually around age 6. Around age 12, the adult 2nd molars erupt and should also be sealed. Over time the sealants may begin to wear off of the teeth, at which time they should be repaired or re-sealed.
What Are Sealants Made of?
Sealants are made of a resin material similar to those found in composite (white) fillings. Sealants are applied into the grooves of teeth as a viscous, liquid material and once in place are hardened with a special curing light. Some older sealants contain a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in many types of plastic materials. Some studies have indicated that BPA may be harmful to a child’s health but the data is not yet conclusive. Gallery Park Dental uses UltraSeal XT hydro sealant which does not contain BPA.
Are Sealants Covered By Dental Insurance?
Because sealants are so effective at preventing cavities they are considered a “preventive procedure” and are 100% covered by most dental insurance plans. Some insurance plans have an age limit on patients who can have sealants that are covered at 100%. Check with your dentist at Gallery Park Dental to find out if sealants are right for you or your kids!