Dental Sealants: FSA Eligibility
Eligible expenses for Limited FSAs can vary. To find out exactly what your Limited FSA covers, contact your FSA administrator.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are placed over the surface of teeth, typically teeth like the molars and premolars that are the most likely to experience cavities and tooth decay. Teeth that have particular groove patterns and depressions are more likely to trap food particles, plaque and bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay, and dental sealants are an effective means of preventing future dental issues by blocking the formation and buildup of this material over time (American Dental Association).
Who should get dental sealants?
Dental sealants are optional dental accessories that can be considered at any age, but most often the prime candidates are children and teenagers who have lost all of their baby teeth, as well as adults who have not experienced cavities or decay on their back molars. Additionally, dental sealants are an option for younger children who have grown in their adult molars and premolars, as dental sealants can protect these teeth between the ages of 6 and 14 when cavities are most likely to develop.
How are sealants applied to teeth?
Applying dental sealants is a simple, painless procedure that can be conducted during a normal dentist's visit. Dental sealants are made with a liquid plastic that is poured on the tooth to provide a barrier against tooth decay. These sealants will remain effective for 10 years after application, and dentists will check these for wear and tear during regular checkups in the ensuing years. The process includes via WebMD:
- First, the dentist will thoroughly clean the surface of the tooth to remove any food particles, plaque and bacteria.
- After the surface of the tooth is cleaned, the tooth will be dried and encased with cotton to ensure that it stays dry before an acid solution is placed on the teeth to create a rougher surface, which will make the dental sealants easier to apply.
- The tooth is then rinsed of the acid solution and dried once more, with additional cotton being placed on the tooth to keep it dry.
- Finally, the liquid sealant is applied to the tooth where it will bond with the tooth's enamel. Dentists will either let the area dry on its own or use a special curing light to complete the process.