Friday, July 3, 2015

Sealants... They are not just for Children

Sealants are not just for Children?


What are sealants and why are they used?

Permanent teeth are prone to form cavities, (tooth decay or  caries). In these permanent teeth the most common place that this cavity forms in in the pits and grooves on the top and sides of the teeth where you brush. It is estimated that up to 75 percent of the teeth with these pits and grooves will form a cavity in your lifetime. Sealants are a thin coating of special plastic placed in the grooves of teeth. These grooves are the main area where tooth decay starts. If a sealant is well placed, it can last for many years providing protection for your teeth. Traditionally sealants are placed on the permanent  back teeth on children soon after they come into the mouth.

Are Sealants covered by Insurance?

Insurance companies will usually pay for sealants placed on the molars (the larger back teeth) until a certain age is reached. Many insurance companies will not pay for sealants on bicuspids (the smaller back teeth in front of the molars).

 Insurance companies, like any other business, set policy based on their own sets of rules These rules are provided to be competitive in the healthcare marketplace, give basic benefits, and contain costs, Benefit packages are tailored to the purchaser's (usually an employer).budget. Then insurance companies  contract with providers (dentists) and essentially dictate which services they will cover and how much the dentist can charge for the service.

Should Sealants be Placed on Teeth that Insurance does not Cover?

Yes, though the decay rate for some teeth is a little lower statistically, they are likely to develop a cavity in your lifetime. Our goal is to help patients get healthy and stay healthy. One of the ways we can do that is to seal up ALL teeth with grooves and pits. We recommend sealants on molars and bicuspids for all children and adults.

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About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.