How Long Will Dental Sealants Last?

How Long Will Dental Sealants Last?

Jun 01, 2023

Do you ever wonder whether a dentist can provide a proactive solution to protect some of your teeth from dental cavities and tooth decay? Amidst the many preventive measures in dentistry, you can rely on dental sealants at Kids First Dental for your back teeth.

What Are Dental Sealants?

They are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars) to help protect them from decay. Dental sealants near you typically feature a type of resin, plastic, and glass material called composite that bonds to the tooth’s surface and hardens quickly under a special light.

How Do Dental Sealants Protect Your Teeth?

Dentists near you apply dental sealants to the back teeth only, since they have deep cusps and fissures. The role of the sealant material is to fill in the deep grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces, which are often difficult to clean with regular brushing and flossing. Filling the deep pits and fissures prevents bacteria and food particles from getting stuck and causing decay over time.

Usually, the sealant material is applied to the tooth in a liquid form and then hardens quickly to form a protective layer over the teeth. It can help prevent bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in the grooves and causing decay.

Are Sealants Better Than Fillings?

Dental sealants and tooth fillings are not directly comparable because they serve different roles in dentistry. Usually, dental sealants are a preventive protocol to prevent infections on teeth. Meanwhile, dental fillings are restorative treatments to repair diseased and damaged teeth, preventing tooth extractions.

However, given that preventive dentistry can protect your oral health and boost your overall health, it may be safe to say that dental sealants near you are better than dental fillings. Some benefits of dental sealants are:

  1. Protection against tooth decay – by forming a barrier on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
  2. Improved oral hygiene – by overcoming deep pits that may be hard to clean
  3. Strengthening teeth – some dental sealants release fluoride, which builds strong enamels and boosts their defense against bacteria that cause tooth cavities.
  4. Cost-effectiveness – they are less expensive than treating a cavity or other dental problems that may arise without them.
  5. Long-lasting protection – dental sealants can last up to 10 years with proper care, providing long-lasting protection against tooth decay.
  6. Safe and effective – dental sealants protect your teeth from decay without requiring any drilling or removal of tooth structure.
  7. Suitable for all ages – sealants for teeth may be common among children and adolescents, but adults may also benefit from them if they have deep grooves or a history of cavities.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Sealants?

  1. While dental sealants have many benefits in preventing tooth decay, they may also come with some potential disadvantages to consider:
  2. Cost: Not all insurance plans cover the cost of dental sealants, which can make them expensive. Even then, the cost of sealants is often less than treating a cavity or other dental problems that may arise in the future without them.
  3. Temporary nature: While dental sealants can last for many years with proper care, they are not permanent. You may need to replace them over time, which adds to the cost and time required for dental care.
  4. Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience sensitivity or discomfort after getting dental sealants. It is usually a temporary experience that should improve after a few days post-procedure. Besides, it is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers or by avoiding hard or sticky foods for a few days.
  5. Bacteria under sealant: While dental sealants can prevent bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in the grooves of the teeth, they are not 100% tamper-proof. It is still possible for bacteria to grow underneath the sealant if it is not applied properly or if there is a gap or crack in the dental sealant.
  6. Not suitable for all teeth: Dental sealants are only ideal for the back teeth. However, even the front teeth can decay, yet a pediatric dentist near you would not recommend sealants for front teeth or teeth with existing decay or fillings.

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