Dental sealants are a minimally invasive, cost-effective preventive procedure backed by scientific studies to prevent cavities on the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars. Studies have shown that 80 to 90 percent of cavities occur on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth. These surfaces have pits and fissures which can harbor food debris, plaque and bacteria, therefor causing carious lesions. Dental sealants covers and fills the pit and fissures to prevent these cavity-causing materials from collecting. Sealants have been around since they were introduced in the 1960s and have improved tremendously since. Our providers at Playhouse Dental always use the safest and highest-quality materials, which is why our dental sealants are BPA-free.

Where are dental sealants placed?

Sealants are typically placed mostly on permanent (adult) teeth in order to prevent dental decay. Sometimes they may also be placed on primary (baby) teeth that are susceptible to getting cavities. Sealants are a great way of protecting teeth that are hard-to-reach and therefore are not always brushed properly especially while children are still learning how to become more adept at caring for their own teeth. Because they are a physical barrier which seals out bacteria and debris, they are beneficial to patients at virtually any age.

When can my child get dental sealants?

Dental sealants are always a good idea! According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), any baby or permanent tooth that has deep pits or fissures is at risk for decay. Therefore, regardless of age, these teeth are candidates for sealants. Because we value prevention the most here at Playhouse Dental, every time we do a dental exam we evaluate whether the teeth need sealants; if a tooth already has a sealant, we check the integrity of them to make sure they aren’t chipped or worn and determine whether the sealant needs to be repaired, redone, or touched-up. For reference, your child’s first permanent molars erupt around age 6. The second set of molars begin to grow in around 12 and these too should be protected by sealants. Placing sealants as soon as teeth come in gives them the best defense against future cavities.

What are the benefits of dental sealants?

Dental sealants are painless, quick, and cost-effective. They provide years of protection, which makes it an ideal treatment for preserving your child’s permanent teeth, keeping them cavity-free. Sealants are tooth-colored and therefore undetectable when patient smiles, talks, or laughs.

How are sealants done?

Sealants are non-invasive and completely safe. The patient does not need to be numb for dental sealants and they can often be completed after the dental exam and cleaning. The procedure begins by washing and cleaning the tooth completely with an acid etch gel. The tooth is then dried and the sealant material is applied into the grooves, where it will fill up the potential areas where cavities may form in the tooth. A special light dries and hardens the resin. The entire procedure is completed within minutes and is completely painless.

Do sealants ever need to be redone?

We often like to use the analogy that dental sealants are like shoes (Anyone in New York City will understand this!) How we function while wearing them determines how long they will last and how quickly they will wear out before needing to be repaired. Patients who are grinders, clenchers, munchers, or have heavier bites often wear down their the sealants faster. Sealants are typically reapplied once every few years. At Playhouse Dental, we guarantee that any sealant that needs a replacement within one year will be done complimentary.

Can you still get cavities even if you have sealants?

While extremely beneficial for most patients, dental sealants, do not always prevent cavities. Because dental caries is considered a multifactorial disease, there are many factors that cause them and cannot always be controlled. While sealants may decrease the chances of getting cavities, proper oral hygiene as well as regular maintenance visits to the dentist are also recommended.

Book now or call us to find out if your child can benefit from dental sealants!