Last update: May 3, 2021
Brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But they cannot always get into all the pits and fissures of the posterior teeth to remove the food and plaque. Dental sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” materials that can cause dental decay. A sealing material is applied to the prepared tooth and then cured with a light source to fill the pits and fissures of the teeth. The procedure does not require local anesthetic can be effectively done by a dentist, dental hygienist or expanded function dental assistant in Pennsylvania.
Children in the 6–9 and 12–15 age bands may be candidates for dental sealants. It is during this time that the eruption of the permanent first and second molars occurs respectively. It is very important that these teeth receive dental sealants to lower the risk of dental caries. Long-term oral health benefits are well documented in adults who had preventive dental measures performed during their developmental years.
Dental sealants are a covered service for Medicaid and CHIP members. Encourage the parents/guardians of your patients to secure a dental home and receive this valuable service. Please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative should you need help making a dental referral for your patients.