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Dr. Leyli Valera, DDS - San Jose, CA

Dental sealants are recommended as an important tool to help prevent tooth decay. Teeth will often have grooves or pits on their chewing surfaces. This naturally irregular shape will sometimes make it more difficult to brush, and if food can’t be fully removed because of this, cavities will begin to form.

Sealants made from a safe, BPA-free resin material which cover the molars. They fill the pits and grooves of the teeth to create a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. It’s a quick, easy, and safe method of preventing tooth decay!

Common Questions about Sealants

Are sealants on teeth necessary?

Dr. Valera recommends that all her patients get sealants once their molars grow in. Dentists have been using sealants for decades as a safe, highly effective method of preventing tooth decay and cavities. If you are unsure whether or not you want sealants for yourself or your child, make an appointment with Dr. Valera to review your options.

How do I know if Sealants are right for me?

Dental sealants are typically placed on children’s permanent molars as soon as they grow in. Typically, this will first happen around the age of six, with the second molars coming in around the age of twelve.

If a patient is at a particularly high risk of cavities, from either poor oral hygiene, a high sugar intake, unique anatomy, or genetic predisposition, then Dr. Valera may also recommend sealants on other teeth in addition to the molars.

What are dental sealants made out of?

The sealants are made from a BPA-free resin coating. Dr. Valera uses 3M™ Clinpro™ Sealant, which dries a natural white color, so they won’t be noticeable in your mouth.

Can sealants be applied at my regular dental cleaning appointment?

Yes, sealants can be applied during one of your routine cleaning appointments right in the Crown Family Dentistry office. This is ideal, as teeth will need to be thoroughly cleaned prior to being sealed.

How are sealants put on teeth?

After a thorough cleaning, Dr. Valera will create a dry environment around the tooth to be sealed. This is so that, although all of the products used during sealant placement are safe, there will be no exposure to the mouth.

First, an acid solution (sometimes called an “etching” solution) is applied to the chewing surface to create microscopic pores in the surface of the tooth, which allow the sealant to fully bond to the tooth. After, the tooth is rinsed and thoroughly dried again, and the sealant solution is applied. The dry environment will be maintained around the tooth until the sealant is completely dry. The entire process takes about 10 minutes for each tooth.

How long do dental sealants last?

Sealants can last for many years, up to adulthood. They may wear over time, depending on a variety of factors. Teeth grinding or using teeth that have sealants to open tough packaging will accelerate the wear and damage on the sealants.

Which teeth need sealants?

Typically, sealants are only placed on the molars. However, if you or your child have a particularly hard-to-reach groove or pit on another tooth, Dr. Valera might recommend a dental sealant on additional teeth. At your visit, she will assess your teeth and risk of cavities to determine the right amount of sealants to protect your smile.

Can dental sealants be placed over fillings?

Sealants are different from cavity fillings. A tooth has to be free of any decay or cavity in order to have a sealant placed. If a tooth has a cavity on it already, it will need to be removed and filled with another material. Dr. Valera will do a full oral examination to determine if any of your teeth have decay or cavities, and if so, she will walk you through next steps to effectively maintain your oral hygiene and prevent further damage.

Are sealants covered by insurance?

Since sealants are an effective way of reducing tooth decay, many dental plans and insurance policies do cover sealants. Crown Family Dentistry will help you understand your individual insurance plan and what the cost of sealants might be for you.

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