All About Dental Sealants: Are They Worth It?


Dental sealants are a popular and effective way to protect teeth from damage. They are often recommended by dentists to protect the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, such as between the molars. They act as a barrier between food debris or bacteria and the tooth enamel, reducing the risk of decay. While they can be effective in preventing decay, it’s important for patients to understand how dental sealants work and whether or not they are worth the cost.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are placed on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to protect them from bacteria and other decay-causing substances. This protective layer helps to prevent cavities as it stops food particles and bacteria from settling into the grooves of the teeth where they can cause damage. While they are most often used on baby teeth, some adults can also benefit from having sealants.

Who Are Good Candidates for Sealants?

Tooth sealants can be beneficial for anyone who is prone to dental caries, has deep grooves in their teeth, or has difficulty brushing the back molars. Children and teenagers are especially good candidates for sealants because their teeth are still developing and their enamel is thinner than an adult’s, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. Sealants are also recommended for adults who have had previous cavities or root canals, as well as those with high-risk factors such as poor oral hygiene.

Do Sealants Really Work?

Yes, sealants are effective for cavity prevention. Studies have shown that sealants can reduce the risk of cavities by up to 80%. They form a protective barrier on the surface of the permanent molars and premolars, which helps to keep bacteria and other substances from settling into the grooves of the teeth. This barrier also seals out food particles, so they can’t contribute to decay.

Benefits of Sealants

1. Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities

The protective coating of sealants acts as a barrier between food particles and bacteria, preventing them from settling into the grooves of the permanent teeth. This helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay by keeping the enamel intact and preventing bacteria from breaking it down. In addition to helping protect teeth from cavities, sealants also help to keep teeth stronger and healthier in general by protecting them from acid erosion caused by sugary drinks and other acidic foods.

2. Long-Lasting

Sealants can last up to 10 years with proper dental care, making them a great long-term solution for protecting teeth from decay and cavities. The sealant material is strong and durable, allowing it to hold up against the wear and tear of everyday life. In addition, sealants don’t require any special maintenance or cleaning; they simply need to be checked occasionally by a dentist to ensure they’re still intact.

3. Quick and Painless Process

The application of dental sealants is a quick and easy process that typically only takes a few minutes for each tooth. Unlike other dental procedures, sealants don’t require any drilling or injections, making them virtually painless.

4. Cost Effective

The sealant procedure is relatively inexpensive when compared to other dental treatments such as fillings or crowns. Moreover, since sealants are quick and easy to apply, they require minimal time in the dentist’s chair, making them a more cost-effective option than other procedures.

5. Safe and Non-Invasive

Sealants are made of a safe, non-toxic material that is approved by the FDA for use in the mouth. They are also non-invasive, meaning they don’t require any drilling or injections. The application of sealants is completely painless and typically only takes a few minutes for each tooth.

6. Save You Money in The Long Run

While the initial cost of getting tooth sealants may seem like a pricey investment, it can actually save you money in the long run. Dental sealants are an effective preventive measure against cavities and tooth decay, helping to reduce the need for costly restorative treatments such as fillings or crowns.

What To Expect During the Procedure

The dentist will begin by cleaning and drying the tooth or teeth that need to be sealed. This is done to ensure that there is no food or debris present that could interfere with the bonding process. Next, an acidic solution will be applied to etch the tooth surface which creates a rough surface for the sealant material to stick to. After this step is completed, the dentist will rinse and dry the tooth before applying the sealant material.

The liquid sealant material is then applied to the tooth and hardened using a curing light or air-abrasion technique. Once the sealant is hardened, the dentist will carefully inspect it to make sure that it has been properly applied and check for any gaps or missed areas.

Are Dental Sealants Worth The Cost?

Dental sealants can be a great investment in the long run, as they can help to prevent costly restorative treatments like fillings and crowns. While the initial cost of getting tooth sealants may seem pricey, it is actually much less expensive than other dental treatments such as fillings or crowns, and requires minimal time in the dentist’s chair. The sealant material is also strong and durable, allowing it to last up to 10 years with proper oral care. So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to protect your teeth against cavities and tooth decay, getting dental sealants is definitely worth it.

Protect Your Oral Health with Children Dentistry of Manatee

Our experienced team of dental professionals understands the importance of maintaining good oral health habits at an early age and provides a wide range of services to help protect your child’s teeth and gums. From preventive care such as cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments to restorative treatments such as fillings and crowns, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for your child’s smile. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.