Should Your Child Get Dental Sealants? 3 Facts To Consider

Posted on: 26 July 2017

As a parent, you know how important dental health is for your child. In addition to wanting to prevent them from experiencing the discomfort associated with cavities, you probably know that poor dental health can lead to other health problems later on. Dental sealants are one tool that you and your dentist can use to help maintain your child's dental health. However, sealants are often underutilized, and many parents don't realize that they're an option or aren't aware of the benefits that they provide. Take a look at some facts that you should know about dental sealants.

Dental Sealants are Long Lasting

Sealants cover the surface of the tooth and prevent food particles and cavity-causing bacteria from setting up shop on the tooth. And the best news is that they're a long-lasting solution. Sealants can last for as long as 10 years.

Exactly how long the sealants last depends partly on how your child uses their teeth. Sealants can stand up to the normal wear and tear of eating, talking, and tooth brushing, but bad habits, like opening tooth packages with the teeth, can wear sealants out faster. If your child suffers from bruxism (nighttime tooth grinding) that can also cause the sealants to wear out faster. Your dentist can work with you and your child to help eliminate bad dental habits or treat tooth grinding so that their sealants can last as long as possible.

Dental Sealants Save Money

Your child's dental health is important, but it's not the only consideration. Fixing cavities costs money. For some families, that's a cost that they can't afford. And even if you can afford the cost of fixing a cavity, chances are that you'd rather spend the money on something else.

To fill one single cavity with the least expensive filling material, silver amalgam, costs an average of $132. If you want your child's cavity filled with white resin composite that blends with the tooth, that will cost more – between $155 and $170, depending on whether it's a front or back tooth. And that's only the cost for fillings – it doesn't take into account the additional cost of treating any further complications that can arise from tooth decay, such as infections or gum disease. You should also keep in mind that one tooth can develop more than one cavity, and these charges are per cavity, not per tooth.

By contrast, the cost of dental sealants is around $37 to $62 per tooth. Considering the longevity of dental sealants, this can be a real cost saver over the period of time that the sealants last. For this reason, sealants are often covered by insurance, making them even more affordable.

Sealants Are Painless and Easy to Apply

It can be tough to get your child to sit still in the dentist's chair for a cleaning, and it's understandable that you might cringe at the idea of adding another procedure to your child's next dental visit. But the application of dental sealants is simple. It comes in a liquid form that the dentist brushes on the teeth, and then it quickly hardens, sometimes with the help a light to cure the plastic. It only takes a few minutes. Once hardened, the teeth with won't feel any different from ordinary teeth.

Fillings, on the other hand, will require a lot more time in the dentist's chair, and are much more likely to cause your child discomfort or anxiety. Taking the time to apply sealant to your child's teeth now can actually reduce the amount of time they'll have to spend in the dentist's chair.

The next time you take your child in for a dental checkup, make sure to discuss dental sealants with their dentist. It may be one of the best decisions you can make for your child's dental health. You can also visit establishments like Alaska Dentistry For Kids.