If left untreated, orthodontic problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.
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What Is a Sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent cavities.
How effective are sealants?
Studies have proven that properly applied sealants are 100-percent effective in protecting the tooth surfaces from cavities. As long as the sealant remains intact, small food particles and bacteria that cause cavities cannot penetrate through or around a sealant. Sealant protection is reduced or lost when part or all of the bond between the tooth and sealant is broken. However, clinical studies have shown that teeth that have lost sealants are no more susceptible to tooth decay than teeth that were never sealed.
Why can't I just brush and floss?
How are sealants applied?
How long will a sealant last?
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. The risk of decay decreases significantly after sealant application. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Who should receive sealant treatment?
Aren't sealants just for kids?
Are sealants covered by insurance?
Insurance benefits for sealant procedures have increased considerably, especially as companies start to realize that sealants are a proven preventive technique. This preventive measure can help reduce future dental expenses and protect the teeth from more aggressive forms of treatment.
Reviewed: January 2012
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