Dental Sealants-How Do They Work?

Does Sealants Prevent Cavities?

I feel as though there is a misconception on what a sealant is designed to do and when it should and shouldn’t be placed. Sealants were originally created to help serve and preventative measure to TRY and prevent decay from forming in the grooves of posterior adult as they began to erupt through the soft tissue. Most often, these teeth include the first and second molars having sealants placed during the deciduous definition period ( when we lose our baby teeth and our adult teeth begin to erupt.) The initial idea of a sealant as preventative measure is definitely supported, however, I feel that specific conditions needs to be met for a sealant to be successful.  I also want you to know that is is very important for the patient to understand that having sealants placed, either as a child, teenager, or even an adult does NOT guarantee that specific tooth will never have a cavity.

Sealant Placement & The Proper Conditions.

  1. No signs of decay present on the individual tooth having the sealant placed.
  2. Low caries rate of the patient. Patient is a good candidate for sealants if there is no previous history of decay in  general.
  3. Good Oral Hygiene. If you are under the impression that having a sealant placed will prevent decay all together, then the mindset of practicing of good oral hygiene may not seem as important.

So please remember just because a sealant is placed doesn’t mean you won’t get a cavity on your tooth or teeth. Sealants can be successful, if you take proper care of them and understand the importance of good oral hygiene.


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