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FAQ:  Sealants


Video: Sealant Basics


Question:
Our current dentist refuses to do sealants. He says that if there is a small cavity on the tooth it could be sealed in and not detected. He also said that it is harder to identify cavities on teeth that have been sealed and X-rays have to be taken more often.

Our previous dentist says that he only likes to do sealants on permanent teeth because younger children have too much saliva making the procedure difficult and he will not gaurantee it. He further went on to say that most cavities are between teeth anyway. I should add that this dentist was very suprised to find that at my child's 5 year check up there were no cavities. He said that my child has very deep pits and is prone to cavities.

My now 6 year old has 2 small cavities on the sides of his Sealants. I feel sealants could have avoided this. Why the reluctance? Wouldn't preventive sealants be safer and easier than subjecting my child to the drugs involved with filling cavities. Should I find a dentist that routinely recommends sealants for young children? ...Chrystal in CA

Answer:
Chrystal, I agree with your dentist in not performing/treating primary/baby teeth with sealants. The reason that I do not is not because they have excessive saliva; but because the anatomy on these teeth are very smooth in comparison to permanent teeth and they usually do not have pits/grooves.

I have not placed sealants on my own son and treat all my patients as if they were my own. The cavity that was on the side of the molar would not have been prevented by sealants because they are placed on the biting/occlusal surface of the teeth and not on the sides of the teeth.

Editorial Staff

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