Although dental sealants are commonly used in dentistry, there are some people who are hesitant to have their teeth sealed. Chances are, if your dentist recommended sealants, he or she feels they would be beneficial to you. If you are unsure whether or not you should get sealants, here is what you need to know.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin resin that is placed in the fissures and pits of the molars. Dentists typically recommend them for children and teenagers. However, they can also recommended for adults who are likely to develop tooth decay.
The resin serves as a barrier between harmful bacteria and plaque against your teeth. It also helps to protect your teeth from food. Foods containing sugar can sometimes adhere to your teeth and cause the enamel to weaken. Once the enamel is weakened, you are more likely to develop tooth decay and a cavity.
Why Should You Get Sealants?
The most obvious benefit of sealants is that they help to reduce your chances of developing cavities. However, there are additional benefits. For instance, sealants can help you save money on dental expenses in the long run. Procedures such as root canals can be costly, especially in contrast to a sealant.
Sealants are also painless. The dentist does not have to drill to apply the resin. To apply the resin, the dentist will clean your teeth and then apply a special gel on them. After a few seconds, the dentist will rinse your teeth and allow them to dry. Once they are dry, the sealant is painted onto your teeth.
If you are concerned that the sealants can be seen, you should not be. A sealant might be visible, but only up close—and the only person who gets that close to your molars is the dentist.
Are There Drawbacks to Sealants?
Sealants have a lot of benefits, but there are a few drawbacks to consider. For instance, sealants are not permanent. They must be reapplied every few years. Fortunately, they are easy to apply and can be done during your annual checkup.
Another drawback to sealants is that they are not for use on teeth with signs of decay. You and your dentist will have to explore other methods of protecting your teeth from the further development of the decay.
Talk to your dentist about any concerns you have about dental sealants. He or she can further discuss the sealants with you and also explore other means of protecting your teeth.