How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

dayton Dental sealants are a protective plastic coating that are used to prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria and decay on the occlusal surface of molars and premolars. Any patient that is a candidate for sealants can have them placed, regardless of age. Dental sealants are a more common treatment in pediatric patients but adults can benefit as well.

Who Benefits From Dental Sealants

Pediatric patients are more likely to develop plaque and a buildup of bacteria but no one is immune. All patients are susceptible to decay, some more than others. The grooves and fissures on the occlusal (chewing) surface of posterior teeth are particularly susceptible to poor brushing and decay. Dental sealants work to fill and shield those areas from food particles that can become stuck, causing bacteria to develop. For pediatric patients, sealants can be placed as the posterior adult teeth erupt from the gums.

Pain With Dental Sealants Placement

Having dental sealants placed is virtually painless. It requires no anesthesia or numbing agents and is able to be completed within a few minutes. An acidic etching solution is applied to the occlusal surface which roughens the enamel surface of the tooth, allowing for proper adhesion of the sealant. The sealant solution is a liquid plastic that is painted onto the surface and cured with an ultraviolet light, which causes the sealant to harden into a smooth plastic coating.

You should not feel any difference in the texture of your tooth and will not be able to tell that anything is different. Your dentist will inspect the integrity of the sealant at each routine cleaning and check up!

Longevity of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants can easily last up to ten years with proper care and good oral hygiene. Regular visits to the dentist ensure that they are intact as long as possible. If needed, dental sealants can be replaced as they begin to show signs of wear and tear. Sealants are not meant to allow you to be delinquent with your hygiene, they simply aid in the prevention of decay. Making sure your child is following a healthy routine will keep their teeth protected and make their sealants last as long as possible as they grow. Sealants will wear off over time and do not need to be removed by your dentist.

Your dentist will help you determine if you or your child will benefit from dental sealants. There are children’s dental programs available at some schools and they may be able to have sealants placed there. Sealants will help your child’s teeth stay healthy as they grow and learn good oral hygiene habits. Speak with your dentist to determine if you or your child are a candidate for dental sealants to help prevent decay!

More on Dental Sealants : How Safe Are Dental Sealants?