Seal Out Tooth Decay

Fluoride-containing dentifrices (toothpastes) are highly effective in reducing the number of carious lesions, or cavities. They occur on the smooth surfaces of enamel (crown of the tooth) and cementum (root surface). Unfortunately, fluorides are not equally effective in protecting the occlusal pits and fissures, or crevices on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, where the majority of cavities occur. Considering the fact that the occlusal surfaces constitute only 12% of the total number of tooth surfaces, it means that the pits and fissures are approximately eight times as vulnerable as the smooth surfaces. The placement of sealants is a highly effective means of preventing these.

Dr. Ryan O’Malley at O’Malley Dental provides dental sealants to children as a preventative measure.

A sealant is a liquid resin that is placed on the occlusal surface (chewing surface) of the tooth where it penetrates the deep fissures to fill areas that cannot be cleaned with the toothbrush. The hardened sealant presents a physical barrier between the tooth and the hostile environment of the mouth. Sealants prevent bacteria from penetrating the pits and causing cavities.

Dental sealants are very safe for intraoral use, stay in place for years, and are a great option for patients who are looking for a little extra help in preventative care. In short, sealants help prevent the most common form of cavities of teeth in the back of the mouth, that are more difficult to reach and properly clean.

“Sealants are an extremely effective yet underutilized shield that protects children’s teeth from cavities.” – Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Children, adolescents, and teens are good candidates for dental sealants, because they may not have solid dental hygiene regimens in place. Sealants can also help minimize the detrimental effects of sugary and acidic foods.

Dental Sealants FAQs:

How long do sealants last on your teeth?

With proper application, dental sealants can last for up to ten years! Dr. O’Malley will check for ordinary wear and tear during routine dental exams. Brushing and flossing daily will ensure that your child’s teeth sealants last a long time. We can touch-up and replace tooth sealants when needed.

Are dental sealants safe?

Yes. Dental sealants are made with resin material that is non-toxic. They are safe for children and adults.

Can dental sealants come off?

Rarely In certain situations, a dental sealant can fall off. In this situation, Dr. O’Malley can replace the sealant fairly quickly, if the damage doesn’t require other dental procedures.

Are dental sealants the same as fillings?

No. They are a preventative measure used to coat the top of teeth to protect them from decay. A dental filling is used to fill in the holes tooth decay leaves behind.

Does my child need dental sealants?

Yes. We recommend that children get dental sealants to protect their teeth from cavities. Tooth cavities are one of the most common oral problems in children and teens. Cavities cause a variety of issues, including: gum infection, facial pain, problems in eating behaviors, and more.

Learn more about dental sealants at your next routine dental exam. Schedule a visit to O’Malley Dental today.