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Dental Sealants

Good basic oral hygiene–such as brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis and visiting the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning–are important to preserving a beautiful, healthy smile, but they aren’t always enough to protect your teeth from cavities and decay. Damaged or hard-to-reach teeth, as well as those with deep grooves and pits, can be difficult to clean, trapping harmful bacteria that can cause cavities.

Dental sealants from Monarch Dental are one of the many preventative treatment options we offer to help protect your pearly whites. Dental sealants are thin caps of plastic or resin that are placed on top of the chewing surface of certain teeth, providing an impenetrable layer over your natural enamel that smooths out deep pits or grooves, seals off cracks or other damage, and makes your teeth easier to clean.

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Who should get dental sealants?

Everyone can benefit from dental sealants. Ideally, sealants should be placed early, especially on premolars in children as young as 6 and molars around age 12. This helps ensure both the deciduous (baby) teeth and adult teeth that will erupt remain healthy, developing free of cavities and decay. Adults can receive dental sealants any time, especially on teeth that have had multiple cavities or are highly susceptible to decay.

Dental sealants are ideal for anyone who:

  • desires an extra layer of preventative protection against cavities  
  • is particularly susceptible to the development of cavities
  • struggles with dental hygiene
  • has had multiple cavities and fillings, especially in the same teeth

What happens during an appointment for dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a simple procedure that can usually be performed in one dental visit, and often without the need for a local anesthetic. Here’s what happens: 

  1. Before applying the dental sealant, the dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly, similar to a regular dental cleaning. This removes any existing bacteria or plaque, keeping it from getting trapped between the sealant and your tooth. 
  2. A solution is placed on the surface of each tooth before being rinsed off with water. This solution helps create a rough surface on a microscopic scale, giving the sealant a better surface to adhere to.
  3. Cotton, or another absorbent material, is placed around each tooth to keep the surface dry in preparation for the sealant application.
  4. The dentist will brush the sealant–usually resin or plastic– in liquid form onto the surface of each tooth. Then, the resin will dry into a hard barrier. Sometimes your dentist may use a UV light to cure the sealant and speed up the hardening process. Some types of resin will be able to set without using a light to harden the material. 
  5. The dentist will polish the tooth that has been sealed to make sure there are no rough or sharp edges and that the tooth blends in seamlessly with the adjacent teeth.

The color of the sealant will depend on the type of material used. Some will be clear, and others will be a color matched to your natural tooth enamel. Either way, the dental sealant will not be visible, nor should you be able to feel any considerable difference in the surface of your tooth. If there is a noticeable difference in your bite, your dentist may need to file down part of the sealant to even it out.

Are dental sealants expensive?

Since dental sealants are considered preventative care, they are often covered at least in part–if not entirely–by your dental insurance provider. Monarch Dental accepts most major dental plans as well as CareCredit, so there’s a good chance we take yours.

If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover dental sealants, Monarch Dental also offers flexible payment options and the OneSmile Dental Plan to help you afford them.

How do I care for my dental sealants?

Dental sealants are durable, lasting several years before needing reapplication. As long as you care for them properly and don’t use your teeth to bite, chew, or break non-food material (i.e. plastic), your sealants could last up to 10 years or more. 

Your dental sealants will be examined during your routine checkups, during which the dentist will make sure your sealants are still intact and in good condition. If a sealant does need to be reapplied, it is a fast process that may be done at the end of your appointment.

Placing dental sealants early can help save time, money, and discomfort in treating future cavities. However, it’s important to note that sealants do not “cavity-proof” your teeth; they protect only the biting surface of your teeth, not the entire tooth. So, while they can dramatically reduce your chances of developing a cavity, you should still maintain good dental hygiene practices. 

Even if you have dental sealants, you should still:

  • Continue using fluoride treatments whenever possible to help strengthen your entire tooth, not just the surface.
  • Continue proper at-home dental care such as daily brushing and flossing.
  • Schedule your regular professional teeth cleanings and oral exams throughout the year.

Protect Your Smile with Dental Sealants from Monarch Dental

Dental sealants are a fast, easy, and affordable way to invest in your long-term oral health, and they’re just part of the comprehensive dental care services offered at Monarch Dental. Whether you need preventative care like sealants or fluoride, restorative treatment like fillings or crowns, or even cosmetic procedures like whitening or veneers, you’ll find it all at Monarch Dental. And, with flexible scheduling, a wide range of payment options, and multiple locations, we make it easy for you–and your entire family–to get the quality dental care you need. Find the Monarch Dental location nearest you and schedule an appointment today!