Dental Sealants in Buffalo, NY
Experienced Buffalo Dentists Providing Affordable Dental Sealants to Safeguard Your Teeth
Dental sealants provide an opportunity for all people to better guard their teeth from the perniciousness of bacterial infection.
Few natural teeth have perfectly even surfaces. These imperfections have an evolutionary advantage, as ridged surfaces are far superior to flat surfaces in breaking down matter through biting and grinding. The unfortunate side effect of this quirk in human biology is that the corrugated exteriors of teeth are harder to clean effectively through brushing and flossing, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up and threatening the safety and health of each tooth. This is far more common among premolars and molars, which are farther back in the mouth and thus more challenging to thoroughly clean. Accretion of plaque can lead to the appearance of tartar, which weakens the integrity of the enamel and allows harmful bacteria to potentially penetrate the delicate inner flesh of every tooth.
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Though symptoms of infection and decay, such as cavities, can affect individuals of all ages, dental health is of particular import in pediatric dentistry; deciduous teeth (baby teeth) are in the process of succumbing to gravity, permanent teeth are about to erupt (grow in), and children must make sure that both sets of teeth remain healthy throughout these two processes. Dental sealants have emerged as a popular option for parents concerned about their children’s teeth, though individuals from childhood through old age are eligible for sealants. Dental sealants provide an opportunity for all people to better guard their teeth from the perniciousness of bacterial infection.
Sealants are, in essence, a remedy for the inherent grooves and pits in the surfaces of teeth. These substances are administered to the exteriors of teeth, where they fill in the minuscule crevices and harden into place, forming a protective barrier. They are not a permanent fix; sealants will gradually wear away after several years, though portions of sealant may remain in the mouth even after decades have passed. Dental sealants are only optimally effective when they are fully intact, however, so lingering patches of sealant play little role in the defense of enamel against bacteria and plaque.
Dental sealants are most commonly composed of glass ionomer-based cement or composite resin. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages—composite resin sealants may have a longer shelf life while glass ionomer-based sealants provide teeth with a steady flow of fluoride for extra protection—but the two are equally effective in the prevention of cavities and related complications. In order to apply a sealant, the dentist must first clean the teeth, removing all calculus (tartar) that has accumulated in pockets throughout the mouth. It is critical after this point to ensure that the teeth are dry, as moisture from saliva or other sources can collect on the surfaces of teeth, preventing the sealant material from bonding directly with the enamel. Microscopic scoring of the teeth may then occur, which provides the sealant with a coarse surface to which it can more easily bind. As soon as the sealant has been administered to each tooth, it solidifies through exposure to a dental curing light, which is a bluish light designed specifically for the hardening of the resins used in sealants.
FAQ About Dental Sealants
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
Every now and then dental sealants are questioned on how safe they are due to the potential of a chemical compound called bisphenol A also known as BPA. BPA is also known for being present in many plastics. There has also only been one dental sealant that has been shown to have a very minute amount of BPA. The levels were not very elevated and seemed to go away within a few hours.
How Effective Are Dental Sealants?
Once dental sealants are placed, they are able to protect against 80% of cavities for about two years. After the first two years they are able to protect against 50% of cavities for the following two years. Sealants are convenient because they get rid of the need for invasive and expensive options such as crowns or fillings. It is possible for dental sealants to come off. If this were to happen that would mean the tooth is no longer protected and your tooth is at risk for a cavity.
Does Medicaid Cover Dental Sealants?
For adults, Medicaid programs vary in terms of coverage. As of now there are 18 states that only cover emergency services. States that do cover oral surgery services include removal of impacted teeth, some jaw repair, extractions and other surgical services.
Are Dental Sealants the Same as Fillings?
Sealants are more so used for children. They are used on their back teeth to try and help the teeth from developing decay. In terms of a filling, they are more so used throughout a patient’s life to restore a tooth from previous decay. When someone receives a filling, different than a sealant the tooth structure is changed because of the removal of decay.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
In some cases, dental sealants have lasted for longer than 10 years. There are times where they do fall off, it is not very common though. If there is a scenario where a dental sealant falls off they are easy to replace.
Are Dental Sealants Worth the Money?
According to research and sources such as dental hygienists it seems as though dental sealants are worth it. More than 50% of children today have them which shows they are still relevant. Dental sealants have the ability to prevent around 80% of cavities for the first two years after they are applied.
Can You Eat After Dental Sealants?
After you have dental sealants placed you can do more than eating, you can do anything your normally would throughout your day. It may first feel as if you are biting onto something but that feeling will not last long. Once a few days have passed you won’t even realize the sealant is on your teeth.
How Much Does It Cost to Seal Teeth?
The price of a dental sealant costs between $30 and $60 per tooth. There are some discount plans or insurance that can decrease the amount you have to pay. If you live in a more metropolitan area the cost of your sealants can be more expensive. There are some schools that offer preventative programs due to the child being enrolled.
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Schedule an appointment with Teach Dental Group today! Our experienced Buffalo dentists have provided dental sealants to patients throughout Buffalo and the Southtowns for over 40 years.
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