Dental Sealants: Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?

Are dental sealants the best way to prevent kids from getting cavities? Sealants are becoming more and more popular in recent years and the latest reports may back this suspicion.

To begin with, what are dental sealants? A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating made from plastic or other materials that is painted over your teeth to defend them from cavities. Of course these sealants are not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but they are another form of protection for your teeth.

Dental sealants have actually been proven to reduce the risk of decay in teeth by up to 80% in some cases. Although the sealants can cost anywhere from $30 to $60 per tooth, they can continue to protect against cavities for up to four years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.” The CDC also reported that applying sealants to young children could help them save up to $300 million in costs of dental treatment.

Are Sealants Worth It?

Sealants not only protect the teeth from bacteria and acid settling on the teeth, but they also can ensure that the teeth stay intact. However there are a few problems that may come about with sealants. If they fall out, chip, or wear away they need to be replaced, and excess material may even need to be drilled down. Another issue may be that the bite of the mouth may feel a bit strange after receiving a sealant because of the extra layer that is now on the tooth.

If sealants are applied correctly, dental sealants can last a long time and have long term benefits. Not only do children benefit, but adults can enjoy the lasting effects of dental sealants.