Dr. Scott Bialik – Pediatric Dentistry

Serving Brookfield, Bethel, Ridgefield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Sandy Hook, Southbury and the Greater Danbury, CT area. Also serving Carmel, Patterson, and Brewster NY

Sealants for Children

A sealant is a protective coating that is placed on the top of teeth, which acts as a barrier against decay. Recently, studies have been published that suggest that composite sealants should remain completely intact for 12 to 20 years. Along with brushing, flossing, and regular checkups, sealants should become a routine part of your child’s dental care.

     

Toothbrush Bristle                    Before                          After       can not fit in grooves

How do sealants work?

Typically, posterior teeth have deep grooves that are impossible to keep clean, despite how often you brush. This is because, these grooves become microscopically small and the bristles of a tooth brush cannot reach them. As you eat, food and bacteria get stuck in these grooves and cause carries (cavities). After being placed on top of a tooth, the sealant hermetically seals these grooves preventing food and bacteria from getting into the grooves, thus preventing carries from forming.

Back to top

What is a Sealant?

A sealant is a protective coating that is placed on the top of teeth, which acts as a barrier against decay. The material that is used in our office is the same as that used for tooth colored fillings. Its composition is primarily of both ceramic and plastic and is called a Composite. We choose to use composites in place of traditional sealant materials, because they have been documented and proven to outperform traditional materials.

Back to top

How long do they last?

Recently, studies have been published that suggest that composite sealants should remain completely intact for 12 to 20 years. As compared to traditional sealant materials that only last between 3 to 6 years.

Back to top

Does my child need sealants, since we have fluoridated water?

Despite all the advances that have been made in dentistry since the utilization of fluoridated tooth pastes and drinking water, fluoride has not been able to prevent carries from forming on these back teeth. This is because the fluoride is unable to penetrate these microscopic grooves in significant quantities to prevent the decay from occurring.

Back to top

Do I need to have all of my child’s teeth sealed?

Not all teeth need to have a sealant placed on them. We recommend that sealants be placed only on those teeth that have deep grooves. Those teeth are usually the molars, and sometimes the premolars. Usually, the front teeth do not have deep grooves and thus do not need to be sealed.

Back to top

Are sealants only for children?

Anyone can benefit from the protection of dental sealants, despite what the insurance companies would have you believe. However, if your tooth has an amalgam (silver) restoration placed in it, the sealant materials may not be able to bond to your tooth.

Back to top

Sealants save you money!

On an average, sealants cost less than half the price of a filling. Not only do sealants save you money, but they can also spare your child from having a cavity filled.

Back to top

Will my insurance pay for them?

Many insurance companies pay benefits for sealants. However, each dental benefit plan has different restrictions. It is always best to check with your individual plan to see if they are covered.

Back to top

Along with brushing, flossing, and regular checkups, sealants should become a routine part of your child’s dental care. After all, don’t they deserve the best?