Do Adults Need Dental Sealants?

Do adults need dental sealants? Absolutely YES!

The best way to explain this is to use an analogy: what do sealants do, in general. Sealants are meant to “seal” a surface against the things that destroy a surface.  Beautiful stone surfaces in kitchens and baths are sealed to protect against moisture an  acids; this is to keep them attractive and useful. Hardwood floors are sealed to protect from constant abrasion, and also to protect their beauty. Seams in kitchen counter tops are sealed to prevent materials from seeping underneath and causing damage. Asphalt surfaces are sealed to protect from moisture seepage and keep the surface smooth for a longer period of time. All of these sealants are used to protect. So, why would you NOT want to seal your teeth?

When teeth are being formed in the jaw, a wonderful layer of enamel is formed on the outside of the tooth. This layer has tremendous strength, as these structures will sustain an enormous amount of pressure during normal chewing throughout your life. The amount of pressure can be from 50 to over 200 psi (wow!). And enamel is  very resistant to the acids formed in your mouth every day as you consume food and beverages. However, there are some areas of teeth that can be weaker during acid attack. One of these areas is on the chewing surface of back teeth (all teeth behind the “eye” teeth). If these chewing surfaces have very deep grooves, it may be nearly impossible for your toothbrush bristles to clean these areas completely. With minute amounts of bacteria gathering in these areas, a cavity will eventually form.

As a sealant is placed, it covers over those deep grooves, and makes cleaning much easier, along with protecting the surface from mouth acids. Over time, you may wear off the sealant, and need to have it replaced. But think about it. Would you rather have a quick application of a sealant on your tooth, or do you prefer to wait until you have a cavity formed and need to have a filling placed. The filling is much more expensive; it cuts into the surface enamel; it most often requires some anesthetic (Novocaine) to numb the pain of the procedure. The good news is: it’s your choice!

Most times insurance will not cover such a procedure, but again, you do not want insurance to dictate how you keep your mouth healthy. For this reason, most offices keep the cost of sealants very low.

So, the next time you are in your dental office for your routine check-up, ask your dental hygienist or your dentist about having your teeth sealed. This procedure can save you much time and money over your lifetime. Remember that you and your dentist are partners in deciding your dental future. After all, what else can impact your life as much regarding your enjoyment of meals, your conversations, your smile and, don’t forget, your kiss!

If you would like to have your teeth sealed before the end of the year, contact us for an appointment: