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Dental sealants, also known as adhesives, help to paint away microscopic pits and fissures that result in carious lesions, lead to dental sensitivity, death to the tooth nerve, and eventual tooth loss. Sealants are a serious combinatory measure to home care, hygiene, and preventive treatment. Major predictive risk factors include recent caries experience, deep pits and fissures, poor hygiene, genetic factors, low fluoride intake, and insufficient diet (Neuenfeldt, 2006).
Sealing compounds are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They comprise of bonded resin or glass ionomer and are applied mainly to the chewing surfaces of bicuspid and molar teeth (Neuenfeldt, 2006). Dr. Doctor or his hygienist will prepare the tooth, place the self-etching primer, and dry the material using special, high-intensity plasma arc or LED lighting that cures in five seconds, as opposed to the traditional halogen lights that take over sixty seconds. These will last a few years to a lifetime.
Most dental insurance companies offer complete coverage for dental sealants placed before a certain age for permanent bicuspids or molars, or a combination thereof. Check with your specific carrier to find out your individual contract restrictions. Each plan varies and there are as many plans as there are contracts.
In all, loosing teeth is no fun and dental sealants should be the first step in preventive maintenance.
Learn more about dental sealants in our patient education section
Neuenfeldt, E. (2006). The Use of Pit and Fissure Sealants in Preventive Dentistry. (Cover story). Access, 20(10), 34-37. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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