We like to practice preventative dentistry at River Oaks Dental. That is why we may recommend Jacksonville sealants as a way to protect your teeth from cavities. A sealant is a non-invasive treatment for your tooth that fill in the grooves on the chewing surfaces, blocking access to food particles and bacteria that cause cavities. This helps teeth stay clean and healthy. In fact, sealants can reduce cavities by 70%! Don’t’ worry, sealants are completely painless, require no numbing, and are tooth colored.
1. First we clean and polish the teeth with the same paste we use for cleanings
2. Then we dry the tooth receiving the sealant and isolate the area with cotton gauze
3. The dental assistant will suction to keep saliva clear from your mouth
4. We will prepare the grooves with an etchant, and then place a bonding agent into the groove. This is like an adhesive that keeps the sealant in place.
5. Then we will flow the composite sealant material into the grooves of the teeth and cure the material so it hardens right away.
6. We will check your bite and make sure the sealant is smooth to your tongue.
Your sealant is now complete! You can eat anything you like right away and go about your day as normal, and rest assured that you just cut your risk of decay by 70%!
Most of the time sealants last 5-10 years, if cared for properly. To extend the life of your sealants, don’t do things that can wear teeth down faster, like chewing ice and hard candy. If you clench or grind your teeth, your sealants may wear down faster. It’s important that your sealants be checked at each hygiene visit, every 6 months. We will be able to make sure the sealant is still in place and not broken or worn down, and repair it if needed. If a sealant is broken or missing, the tooth is susceptible to cavities again.
Placing a sealant on 4 back teeth takes about 5-10 minutes. It can easily be done at the same time as your hygiene visit.
Dr. Monteiro can help you determine if your teeth could benefit from sealants. Some people have grooves in their teeth that are very shallow, so a sealant would not be a big benefit. Others have very deep grooves that trap a lot of food and plaque and could benefit greatly from a sealant. Most sealants are placed in children on their permanent back teeth as the erupt, around 6-7 years old, and then again at 10-12 years old. This is the best time to seal the tooth before a cavity has a chance to form. Sealants can also be placed in adults with missing sealants or deep grooves in their teeth.
Sealants are an affordable treatment option and can help save hundreds or thousands of dollars in dental treatment. Sealants are usually covered 100% by dental insurance for children under 16, meaning no cost to you. This varies from plan to plan so make sure to check your coverage. Without insurance coverage, a dental sealant costs about $50.