Until recently "tooth - colored" fillings placed on the chewing surfaces of back teeth were doomed to failure due to the polymerization shrinkage and subsequent micro-leakage associated with these materials. Now, a new "directed shrinkage" technique permits dentists to place "tooth colored" restorative materials in molars and bicuspids with reliable success.
When utilized within the limits of the material, these new adhesive composite restorations are expected to perform favorably when compared to the earlier non-adhesion restorative materials. Because these new materials adhere to the teeth, contain no mercury and essentially wear at the same rate as "silver fillings" they are now considered by many to be "state-of-the-art" and the "new standard" for dentistry.
How does a sealant help prevent decay?
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth - premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Do sealants help save money?
Prevention is better than treatment. When one considers that properly applied and maintained sealants are extremely effective in preventing pit and fissure decay, sealants are a very cost-effective measure. Savings in both dollars and discomfort can be gained by application of sealants, rather than allowing decay and requiring the tooth to be restored. For over 20 years the American Dental Association has evaluated sealants and a number of different brands have been awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance, a symbol of a products safety and effectiveness. In addition, many private dental plans cover sealants. If your plan does not, contact your employer's benifits manager to suggest that sealants be included in future dental plans.