Dental sealants are a preventive measure against tooth decay. They are most often used on children’s teeth, although adults can also get dental sealants. Your child’s dentist may recommend dental sealants for teeth that are at a higher risk for plaque buildup that could turn into cavities.
What if your child already has dental sealants? Can they get them again? Why are repeat dental sealants necessary? Learn the answers to these questions and more.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealant is a layer of resin material that is applied to the chewing surface of a tooth. It is used to fill in grooves and crevices in the teeth are prone to plaque buildup. Dental sealants are most often used on permanent molars in the back of the mouth.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants offer many benefits:
- Protect permanent teeth from decay. Plaque is a sticky substance that is made up of food particles and bacteria. It clings to the teeth, settling into the grooves and crevices and eating away at the enamel. Dental sealants fill these grooves and crevices to prevent plaque from building up there and causing tooth decay.
- Reduce or prevent the need for restorative procedures. Prevention is always the best measure when it comes to permanent teeth. Dental sealants can prevent cavities and the restorative procedures used to treat them, such as fillings and root canals.
- Keep the permanent teeth in place for life. The ultimate goal of dentistry is to help you keep your natural teeth in place for your lifetime. Dental sealants protect the permanent teeth from a young age, making them more likely to last for the rest of your life.
- No anesthesia is needed. Dental sealants can be applied with no anesthesia required. This is preferable to fillings and other restorative procedures that require at least local anesthesia to numb the area.
- Ideal for young children. Dental sealants are ideal for young children who may not be able to brush their teeth effectively.
Can Dental Sealants Be Redone?
Should kids get dental sealants if they already have them? In many cases they can. Dental sealants can be reapplied to the same tooth that has already been sealed. It may also be necessary to apply dental sealants to new permanent teeth as they come in.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants last an average of 2 to 4 years. For the first 2 years after it is applied, a dental sealant is capable of preventing 80% of cavities. For the next 2 years up to 4 years after application, dental sealants can protect against 50% of cavities. This is the average expectancy of a dental sealant. Many last longer and prevent tooth decay for many years.
Why Are Repeat Dental Sealants Needed?
Your dentist may want to reapply dental sealant to a tooth that shows signs of damage to the seal. The seal is susceptible to wear and tear from chewing which can cause it to thin out or even come completely off the tooth. The existing layer of sealant will be removed before the new sealant is applied.
Is Anesthesia Required For Repeat Dental Sealants?
As with the first application of dental sealant, no anesthesia is required for the reapplication. The old layer of sealant will be removed with dental tools. Then the surface of the tooth will be etched in preparation for the new sealant. Then the new layer of dental sealant is applied to the tooth and hardened with a curing light.
Dental Associates For Kids Only Provides Dental Sealants
We provide dental sealants as a preventive dental procedure for children’s teeth. It is our goal to provide the dental care your child needs to keep their teeth healthy and in place for their lifetime. We consistently assess existing dental sealants to determine if they need to be redone to effectively protect the teeth.
Call 516-625-3806 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.