How do you know if your child needs sealants?
The use of sealants is a preventive technique with more than five decades of history, which consists of placing a material over the pits and fissures of the teeth.
The material, which penetrates to the bottom of the grooves, makes this anatomical area less retentive and deeper, and therefore less prone to the accumulation of food debris and bacteria.
In this way, the tooth is “protected” and will have less risk of developing a dental caries lesion, since the use of sealants prevents up to 90% of tooth decay.
When is it convenient to use sealants?
Undoubtedly, the decision of whether or not to apply a sealant on a specific tooth should be made by an experienced pediatric dentist.
Therefore, this choice should be made after completing a correct clinical history of the patient. Firstly, the risk factors will be analyzed, among which we find the medical and social history, as well as the experience of previous and current caries. And finally, a thorough clinical examination will be performed after taking the appropriate radiographs for the case.
What are the advantages of sealant treatment?
Consequently, this treatment has the great advantage of being simple and effective. It is usually used to prevent caries lesions in teeth that are considered to be at risk, or to stop the progression of initial caries lesions. In addition, it is important to note that the application of the sealant is simple and does not require any local anesthetic.
Currently, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that pit and fissure sealant placement is a scientifically sound technique for the prevention of caries lesions. Additionally, it is used to prevent the progression of incipient lesions. Thus, in the last guide of this academy, the application of sealants in patients with low, medium and high caries risk is advised.
In short, we can conclude that sealants are a safe and effective method for the prevention of dental caries. Obviously, as long as this treatment is previously evaluated by a trained pediatric dentist. Finally, it has been demonstrated that it manages to reduce caries lesions by up to 90%.
American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry. Caries-risk assessment and management for infants, children, and adolescents. The Reference Manual of Paediatric Dentistry. Chicago, Ill.: American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry; 2020:243-7.