Children’s Dental Health Month in February is a great reminder of how crucial it is to start young people early on the right path for a lifetime of oral health. Parents naturally seek out the best for their kids, so a simple benefit like sealants that can help protect children’s teeth adds value to an insurance plan. Here’s a closer look at the market for sealants and what kind of coverage Delta Dental offers for groups and individuals.
Sealants are plastic coverings applied to the deep crevices of teeth to seal them off from decay. Think of them like raincoats for the teeth. Sealants are most often applied to permanent back teeth because they have the deepest grooves and are at the highest risk of decay.
Once applied, sealants provide protection against tooth decay, preventing 80% of cavities for two years and continuing to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years. Children without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than children with sealants.
Children and teenagers ages six to 15 are the best candidates for sealants. Sealants can be especially beneficial for kids who have a history of cavities or are otherwise at high risk for dental problems (such as from secondhand smoke or from medications that cause dry mouth).
Sealants aren’t just effective; they’re also cost-effective. Sealants can spare families the hassle, discomfort and expense of cavities, and unlike most cavity treatments, sealant application is a simple, one-time, painless procedure.
The prevalence of sealants has increased overall in children ages six to 11, from 31% during 1999–2004 to 42% during 2011–2016. Knowing about and having access to sealants through dental coverage can provide parents and their kids with a health advantage that pays off for a lifetime.
Most Delta Dental plans cover dental sealants, so members can often get all their kids’ protective sealants at little or no out-of-pocket cost.
Plans that include sealants generally limit the benefit to permanent first and second molars subject to age limitations by contract. Under some Delta Dental PPO plans, there is a maximum allowance payable per tooth, and the patient is responsible for the remainder of the allowed fee. Benefits for sealants include repair or replacement within 24 months by the same dentist or dental office.
Sealants are noninvasive, cost-effective players in the fight against cavities. With Delta Dental, you can help your clients find affordable, highly rated sealant coverage.