Pros and Cons of Dental Sealants By fairfaxfamilydentalcare on March 21, 2023

Dental examThe teeth have a tough job. They bite and chew foods and make eating possible. Many foods have sugars and acids that attract bacteria and threaten the health and structure of the teeth. Brushing and flossing protect the teeth, but sometimes professional dental services are necessary to maintain a healthy and attractive smile.

The dentists at Fairfax Family Dental Care in Fairfax, VA, offer preventative dental services to preserve your oral health. Among these are sealants and fluoride treatments, which discourage plaque buildup and minimize the risk of tooth decay or cavities. Our dentists discuss the pros and cons of dental sealants so patients can make informed decisions regarding treatment.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a clear plastic coating that is brushed onto the biting surface of the teeth. Sealants act as a protective layer to block food particles from getting trapped in the grooves of the teeth. Treatment discourages plaque buildup associated with dental cavities. Dental sealants are most frequently applied to the back teeth (molars and premolars) because they have deeper grooves and are difficult to reach, making it harder to clean them properly.

Advantages of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of cavities. Dental sealants are most often recommended for children who have just gotten their adult teeth, individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, or those who are genetically predisposed to cavities. Some of the most notable advantages of dental sealants include:

  • Quick and painless treatment - Before dental sealants are placed, the teeth are cleaned and dried. Once the teeth have been prepped, applying dental sealants is as easy as painting them on with a small brush. Treatment causes no pain, is non-invasive, and lasts about 30 minutes.
  • Improved oral hygiene - Reaching the back teeth to brush and floss is difficult. Toothbrushes cannot effectively remove plaque or tartar, so once buildup begins, a cavity is likely. Sealants shield the teeth from food particles, bacteria, plaque, and tartar. They improve oral hygiene and reduce the risk of decay, cavities, and infection.
  • Prevention of restorative dentistry treatment - By reducing the risk of dental damage, dental sealants prevent the need for more invasive and costly restorative dentistry treatments, like fillings, dental crowns, or root canal therapy.

Disadvantages of Dental Sealants

There are few drawbacks to dental sealants. The primary disadvantages are that they cannot be placed over dental fillings or dental cavities and they are not as durable as dental restorations. Dental sealants last five years on average. After sealants wear out they are ineffective unless treatment is repeated.

It is essential that dental sealants are not placed over teeth already experiencing decay. If decay is present, dental sealants could trap acids in the treated tooth and lead to further dental complications. This is an unlikely complication that is easily prevented with a thorough dental exam.

Contact Us

The dentists at Fairfax Family Dental Care offer a comprehensive range of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. To learn more about our dental treatments and how they can help you enjoy your ideal smile, send us a message or call (703) 385-0303 at your earliest convenience.

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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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