Pediatric Dental Sealants in Lancaster, PA

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What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a cavity prevention procedure our Lancaster, PA pediatric specialists often recommend for our patients to minimize the risk of decay on the back teeth. The chewing surfaces of the back teeth naturally contain pits and grooves, creating areas that are more difficult to clean with a toothbrush and are therefore at a higher risk of developing cavities. Made of thin plastic material, sealants are painted into these grooves and hardened with a special light, which leaves behind a smoother surface that is easier to brush and maintain. Sealants help to keep plaque, food, and bacteria from collecting, minimizing the risk of cavities formation and possibly the need for future dental expenses. When you bring your child for their dental cleaning and checkup, we will evaluate their need for sealants and let you know if this preventive solution can help preserve the health of your child's smile.

What Are the Benefits of Pediatric Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants can be used in both children and adults, but are most frequently used in children because of their many benefits. Some of the most common benefits include:

  • A proactive way to prevent cavities
  • Dental sealants are a cost-effective preventive treatment
  • They can be applied quickly, drying in about 1 – 2 minutes
  • Dental sealants are virtually invisible when talking or smiling
  • They are long-lasting
  • Protection begins immediately

In many instances, dental sealants can protect your child's teeth from cavities for up to ten years. They should be checked for any wear and tear during your child's annual dental exams.

Is Your Child a Candidate?

Dental sealants may be ideal for patients of any age but are most often recommended for children and teens. Our team typically places sealants on the chewing surfaces of the permanent molar and sometimes premolar teeth. By filling deep grooves and protecting the teeth against cavities, we can often minimize the risk for greater treatment needs down the road. Sealants are simple to place and do not require any dental anesthesia. Our dentists do not recommend placing sealants on teeth that show evidence of decay or that already have dental fillings or other restorations.

What Is The Dental Sealant Application Process?

When your child visits Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates for their dental exam, we will examine their teeth and determine if they are a good candidate for sealants. To begin the sealant process, we will clean the chewing surfaces of the teeth with a special paste and polisher. A special cleansing solution will then be applied to the chewing surfaces and rinsed away. Once the teeth have been thoroughly dried, a clear or white sealant material will be painted onto the chewing surfaces and hardened with our special curing light. One of our specialists will then check to ensure the sealants are secure and make any necessary adjustments to your child's bite.

How Do I care For My Dental Sealants? 

At the end of your child's sealant appointment, our clinical team will review special instructions for care. We recommend that your child avoid eating foods that are sticky, hard, or crunchy over the next couple of days. Beyond these directions, your child is free to go about their normal day-to-day routine. Dental sealants can last for several years when cared for properly. During future dental cleaning and checkup visits, we will evaluate your child's sealants and let you know if they need to be reapplied at any time. Sealants must be fully intact in order to provide cavity protection. Please contact us right away if you believe a sealant may no longer be present.

Will Insurance Cover Dental Sealants?

Many insurance plans cover all or a portion of the cost of dental sealants for kids. Since coverage may vary among policies, our business team will review your plan and let you know of any anticipated out-of-pocket expenses. For your convenience, several flexible payment options are available at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, including special patient financing through CareCredit®.

Pediatric Dental Sealants FAQ

How long does my child have to wait to eat or drink after getting dental sealants?
A hard surface is formed once the tooth sealants have been cured, so your child will be able to resume their normal diet following their appointment. For more information on pediatric dental sealants, please contact our Lancaster, PA office to speak with a member of our staff.

Do you need anesthesia for dental sealants?
In most cases, no, local anesthesia is not needed when applying dental sealants. The process is quick and painless.

Can cavities develop under dental sealants?
It is uncommon, but cavities can develop under dental sealants. Fortunately, dental sealants are clear so your dentist will be able to catch and treat it quickly.

Are sealants really necessary for my child?
We highly recommend sealants for children. Cavities are one of the most common chronic conditions we see in children; left untreated, they can become painful and lead to infections. This can impact eating, speaking, and more. Sealants are a great way to protect your child's teeth.

How long do sealants last?
Sealants are very effective for two years. Depending on your child's diet and dental habits, they may last for 4 – 9 years. We will evaluate your child's sealants at their dental appointments to ensure they are still working effectively.

What are the disadvantages of dental sealants?
If a child has a cavity that is very deep, a sealant may not be an effective treatment option. In this case, a root canal may be necessary. Additionally, the application process requires children to sit very still, which can be difficult. Still, we find the treatment to be worth it.

Protect Your Child's Smile

Dental sealants from Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates are a simple way to ward off the risk of cavities and the need for dental fillings, crowns, or more intensive treatments. As a quick and easy preventive procedure, dental sealants are often applied to permanent molar teeth to help children enjoy better oral health and easier trips to the dentist. Learn whether your child is a candidate for dental sealants by scheduling a visit with one of our board-certified pediatric dentists at our Lancaster, PA facility.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.