Through the years, American dentists have been collectively concerned about many children’s lack of access to dental care. This became the impetus for state-sponsored programs like the State Sealant Program (SSP), which makes sealants available in schools. As reported in a Dentistry IQ article:
“Dental sealants, when applied in school-based programs, have been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as 60 percent.(1) Improving access to high-risk children, and saving high-risk teeth, is a public health victory. However, there are differences in how states manage, finance, and measure school sealant programs (SSPs).”
According to a study made by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Georgia is one of 35 states that lag in SSPs. Fortunately, those in the East Cobb county can rely on a trusted pediatric dentist in East Cobb for such a service. Without a doubt, dental sealants are highly effective in protecting children’s teeth–temporary and permanent ones alike–from decay. They provide a layer of protection over parts of teeth which could easily be missed in brushing.
What are Sealants?
Sealants are plastic coatings painted over teeth to prevent food particles from settling in teeth’s grooves and ridges. They are typically applied on molars and pre-molars, which are harder to clean by brushing.
Sealants may either be resin-based or glass-ionomer based. Both are proven very effective and durable, and a 2012 study published in the Pediatric Dentistry journal pointed out each of these types’ advantages. Resin-based sealant was found to last longer, but the glass-ionomer kind appeared to provide better protection from decay, most likely because of its capability to release fluoride
Resin-based sealants are light-cured, requiring exposure to UV light to set, whereas glass-ionomer is self-curing due to the chemical reaction between its base and catalyst.
Sealants are recommended for children who are at least six years old and have started to grow permanent molars. There’s no drilling involved, making it less scary for the young ones. After around two rounds of cleaning and drying, and the application of an etching gel to facilitate bonding, the sealant is applied.
Sealants may also be used to protect milk teeth, which is important to ensure the proper growth of permanent teeth. As a reliable kids dentist in East Cobb, like Dr. Brent Herrin, will tell anyone, it is never too early to start dental care, and sealants offer one of the most effective ways to ensure the dental health of children.
(Source: “New report on dental sealants,” DentistryIQ, May 16, 2014)