How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

No matter how well you brush twice a day, how closely you follow the at home flossing instructions, and if you maintain your twice-yearly dental cleanings and checkups, you are still at risk for cavities and tooth decay.  For some people, they are genetically predisposed to cavities and other people have tooth structures or shapes that lend themselves more easily to decay.  If you are concerned about keeping your natural teeth healthy and without decay, you may want to talk to the dentist about dental sealants.

For people who are more cavity prone, for whatever reason, dental sealants are an investment in your dental health and a great way to prevent cavities down the road.  While sealants are not permanent and do require an upfront investment, they can help you avoid more costly tooth decay treatments.

Why Dental Sealants?

Not all patients are ideal candidates for dental sealants.  It is important to talk to the dentist about your dental history, your expectations and what you would like to address with the dental sealants.  Usually, people who are more prone to tooth decay, like young adults, teenagers and children with baby teeth are the typical candidates for dental sealants.  The treatment is used to fill in depressions and coat the chewing surface of the back teeth.  These little fissures and grooves are prone to hold small pieces of food and bacteria.  Regular brushing and flossing may not be able to address the little problem pockets resulting in the beginning of tooth decay.  The dental sealant can prevent the decay from starting, keeping the tooth healthier, longer.  Dentists usually apply the sealants before decay starts, which is shortly after the molar or premolar erupts.  The dentist wants to prevent the problems before they start.

Will They Hurt?

Unlike other dental procedures and visits, the dental sealant application is quick and without pain from start to finish.  The dentist will often use a resin that hardens in place or a resin that hardens with the use of a blue light.  Both kinds of resin set quickly and the whole procedure should only last a few minutes per tooth.  Dental sealants can be made in a variety of colors to minimize their visual impact.  Typically, they are clear, white or tinted to match your tooth color.  The material should feel similar to your natural teeth and you won’t notice the sealants at all after a while.

How Long Do Sealants Last? Can I Extend Their Wear?

Most often, dental sealants last between five to ten years before they need to be replaced.  If you take care to brush, floss and keep regular dental checkups, you will not need to worry about having your old dental sealants removed.  Dental sealants wear away gradually over time and can be replaced without drilling or needles.  The resin dentists use for sealants is resilient and can withstand the pressure from biting and chewing.  If you take care to avoid unnecessary stress on your teeth, like opening plastic packages, you will get a long life from your sealants.

More on Dental Sealants : What are Dental Sealants?

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Cornerstone Family Dentistry Chapel Hill NC

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At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.