Good dental health starts with good dental hygiene and habits such as regular brushing, flossing, and semi-annual cleanings. However, as dentists who see all kinds of people, we can tell you with confidence that for some folks, great dental care routines still don’t cut it, and there are lots of reasons why.
Some people don’t have as healthy of enamel as others, especially if they were sick a lot as a baby. In some cases, people have teeth that are more textured and grooved than others which allows plaque to accumulate more easily and provides for a significantly tougher task of keeping them clean. No matter what the reasons are, many of the patients we have helped with this kind of problem have expressed frustration and embarrassment in feeling like others think they don’t take good care of their teeth.
At Love To Smile in Overland Park, we’ve made it our job to help people love to do exactly that, and it starts with providing effective, judgment-free options for kids and adults of all ages. For those who struggle with keeping their teeth in good shape despite good brushing and flossing habits, or for those who simply want extra protection to protect their smile, tooth sealants may be a good option.
To learn more about tooth sealants, continue reading today’s blog from the team at Love To Smile. Or, if you are ready to talk to one of our dentists about whether or not sealants are right for you, schedule a consultation at our dental offices nearest to you.
I Thought Tooth Sealants Were Just For Kids
This is a pretty common misconception that comes from the fact that tooth sealants are most often recommended for children when compared to adults, and there are a few important reasons for this.
One of them is that even with adult supervision and coaching, children are typically much less disciplined about taking care of their teeth. When you combine this with the fact that they also tend to be less disciplined about the number of sweets and the amount of soda they consume, it’s easy to understand how they have been deemed a higher risk population than most groups of adults. And to prove the point, the CDC has reported that children without tooth sealants, on average, have three times as many cavities as children who do receive tooth sealants.
With that being said, there are plenty of good reasons for adults to consider tooth sealants to promote their own tooth health, too.
The Case For Tooth Sealants
Let’s begin by saying that the only discomfort that comes from getting tooth sealants placed comes from having to keep your mouth open while the dentist applies them. Unlike getting a cavity filled — a gentle procedure by most people’s standards — sealants require no needles, no numbing, and no drilling, grinding, or oral inserts.
For the millions of people who don’t love going to the dentist any more than is absolutely necessary, sealants provide an incredibly attractive incentive.
Prevention Is The Best Course Of Action
Sealants are preventative, and they are effective. The CDC’s study reported that sealants prevent 80% of cavities in the first two years they have been placed, and they continue to prevent against 50% of cavities for an additional two years after that. That’s pretty impressive.
Furthermore, tooth sealants can also improve the preventative care and daily maintenance that you are already employing in your dental care routines. Tooth sealants can reduce the depth of grooves where plaque and bacteria tend to accumulate, and make it easier for you to clean your teeth when brushing and flossing.
Finally, there is the undeniable fact that a strong, healthy tooth that has never experienced a cavity is more durable and reliable than a tooth that has gotten a filing from the most skilled dentist using the best material available. Your teeth are built to last when cared for, and keeping them in prime condition should be a priority for everyone.
Another thing to consider when determining if tooth sealants might be a good choice for you is the overall cost-effectiveness of them. People with children may already be aware of the thrifty sagacity of this upfront investment in their teeth, but in case you’re not, here are some numbers to consider.
The normal amount of teeth for an adult is 32 – eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 8 molars. The nationwide average for professionally applied dental tooth sealants is roughly $45 per tooth, for a total cost of just over $1,400 before insurance is applied.
By contrast, according to Nerd Wallet, a single resin composite filling averages a cost of almost $200 before insurance helps out, and a root canal can range from $900 – $1,300. When you factor in the cost on a single root canal or a couple of cavities, the cost starts to make sense pretty fast for some people. Factor in that tooth sealants protect your teeth from staining (no whitening treatments needed while you have them), and will likely save you the time, energy, and cost of traveling too and visiting your dentist, tooth sealants make financial sense for a lot of people.
Long Term Benefits
The long term benefits of tooth sealants, some of which are mentioned in the points above, are one of the biggest reasons that people choose to get them. After all, tooth sealants are a long term investment in your smile and your dental health. From saving you money in the long run to preventing no more trips to the dentist than are necessary, there are lots of good reasons to consider tooth sealants for you or your children.
Talk To A Dentist About Whether Or Not Tooth Sealants Are Right For You
To learn more about whether or not tooth sealants are right for you, get in touch with Love To Smile and schedule a consultation with one of our dentists. We’re always happy to help people explore and learn about their options for getting the very best out of their smiles.