Hygiene Hints: "Sealants" from Eileen
It is a thin plastic coating that is flowed into the pits and grooves to "seal" them and keep food and bacteria out. This is applied as soon as the molars are sufficiently erupted to allow access. First molars generally erupt around the age of six or seven, and second molars generally erupt around the ages of eleven or twelve.
These are a highly effective preventative treatment to keep decay from occurring in the pits and grooves of the molars. The first permanent molars erupt around age six. These molars are designed to help us chew food. Sometimes food and bacteria get trapped in the pits and grooves on the biting surface of these molars, putting you at risk for developing decay.
Brushing can help keep these pits and grooves clean, but in many people, these can be too deep and/or too narrow and small for toothbrush bristles to effectively clean them.
The process of applying a sealant does not require numbing or drilling. The grooves of the tooth is cleaned of plaque, bacteria, and other debris. The tooth colored sealant resin is flowed into the groove, and is hardened by a special curing light. This is a simple procedure, and you are able to eat and drink immediately following placement.
Your sealant should be checked at every six month recare visit, and repaired as necessary. To keep it in place for many years, besides maintaining good oral hygiene, you should always avoid chewing ice, or any type of hard or sticky candy.
Of course every dental insurance policy is different, but the majority of dental insurance policies cover sealants. Some policies may require a deductible on this, and usually there is an age limit for this. Insurance policies will normally cover this procedure up to about age fourteen to sixteen. For specific information regarding your insurance policy, contact your insurance carrier.
Sealants are an important part of the whole picture of good dental care, along with regular brushing and flossing, good nutrition, and regular dental visits.