Are Dental Sealants necessary? Simple answer is yes. I am very fortunate having two parents as dentists and received sealants at the age of 6 on my first molars and at the age of 12 on my second molars. My sealants were placed by both of our wonderful staff members and Expanded Functions for the Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) Jolene and Marlene, and are still on molars more than 20 years later.
The reason we recommend sealants are that Pit and fissure caries (cavities) account for approximately 80 to 90% of all caries in permanent posterior teeth and 44% in primary teeth (1). Only on certain occasions do we recommend sealants on primary molars and premolars, but we recommend sealants on every 1st and 2nd molar. Pit and fissure sealants have been found to be 99% effective in prevention of occlusal caries when the material is completely retained and have been shown to be more effective on newly erupted teeth.
Placing dental sealants reduce the decay rate more than 80% and lower the number of viable bacteria. Studies have shown that sealants lower Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli by at least 100-fold and reduced the number of lesions with any viable bacteria by about 50 percent.
At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we use a resin (white filling) based sealant material with a bonding agent which has been proven to have the highest retention rates. The process of placing sealants is very simple. Your child will not have to get numb and it takes about 30 minutes to complete.
1. Beauchamp J, Caufield PW, Crall JJ, et al. Evidence-based clinical recommendations for the use of pit-and-fissure sealants: A report of the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. J Am Dent Assoc 2008;139 (3):257-68.
2. Griffin SO, Gray SK, Malvitz DM, Gooch BF. Caries risk in formerly sealed teeth. J Am Dent Assoc 2009;140(4): 415-23.