A sealant helps prevent tooth decay, so the sooner you consider it, the lower your risk of needing more serious and costly dental work.
“If you get cavities, they need to be fixed with fillings, or else they can progress to more extensive procedures such as root canals and crowns,” said Dr. Shalini Mohan, lead dentist at Downtown Dental & Implants of Oswego.
“The most important teeth to seal are the two sets of permanent molars. Kids get the permanent first molars around age of 6 and the permanent second molars around the age of 12.”
Sealants have a range of benefits. They are highly effective in the prevention of tooth decay, cutting down on cavity occurrence up to 80 percent. They also act as a barrier to protect enamel from plaque and acids.
They are a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces on pre-molars as well as molar teeth, and only take a few minutes to apply per tooth, Dr. Mohan said.
Of course, regular and proper flossing are a must. And regular visits to your dentist can catch cavities before they get too serious.
The benefits of a dental filling are many. It protects the remaining tooth structure from further damage. It re-establishes adequate function of the teeth. It helps prevent damage to the tooth nerve. It lowers potentially harmful and damaging bacterial counts in the mouth.
Fillings are basically of two types, amalgam, which is silver colored, and resin composite, which is tooth colored and might be better for teeth that are more visible.
Talk it over with your dentist, who can advise you based on the location and extent of the decay, material costs, and other factors to determine the the type of filling best for you.