Sealants are an important part of preventative dental health for adults, and especially children. Between the ages 5-7 years children will get their 1st permanent molars, sometimes referred to as the ‘6-year’ molars. Between the ages of 11-13 most kids will also get their 2nd permanent molars, commonly called the “12 year” molars. All of our molars develop from small lobes that create a deeply grooved area ( see photo below). These grooves are a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause cavities. Regardless of how well you or your child brushes, toothbrush bristles cannot reach into the small crevices to clean adequately. This is where sealants play a critical role in preventing decay!
Sealants are placed over/into the grooves of these molars which “seals-out” bacteria, closing off the opportunity to form a cavity. (see photo below). It is a simple process performed by the dentist, dental assistant, or dental hygienist with no drilling or numbing required. We typically clean the tooth groove with a special etch, place the sealant, and cure it with a light for 10-20 seconds. Quick and painless!
Did you know many insurance plans will cover this preventative service? Most even cover up to 100%! Out of pocket a sealant ranges from $40 to $60 dollars, compare that to a filling which can cost upwards of $300 or more with no insurance coverage! Talk about a money saver! So next time you stop in for a visit with your dentist, ask about dental sealants!