Despite our ability to treat cavities, preventing them from occurring is a better approach. We have many ways to help you assess your risk of getting a cavity as well as preventing them. A dental sealant can prevent the most common type of cavity which forms in the grooves of a tooth.
As teeth form, the enamel folds into grooves on the chewing surface. These grooves are a place where the bacteria can hide from our toothbrush and cause a cavity even when we have very good home care. When we place a dental sealant on your tooth, a plastic resin flows into these grooves and cleans out any bacteria present. The resin is then hardened and the groove is sealed against the bacteria.
Who Should Have Dental Sealants?
Sealants are for anyone who has grooves in their teeth that can harbor the bacteria and present a risk of getting a cavity. There is no age limit for sealants and adults benefit as much as children do. We will discuss with you your cavity risk level and whether the grooves in your teeth are deep enough to warrant sealants.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
The answer is different for everyone, but they do have a predictable lifespan. I normally expect a dental sealant to last between 3-10 years depending on the patient. They normally wear down, so they do not disappear all at once. At the end of the lifespan of your sealants, we will reassess your risk level for cavities and whether replacement sealants are recommended.