You may know about dental fillings, but you may have also heard of dental sealants and wondered if those are something similar. We’re here to clear up the difference between the two treatments so you can feel informed about your child’s dental health.
What Is a Dental Sealant?
In the back chewing teeth, there are deep grooves and ridges in teeth where it’s easy for food debris to get stuck, making them the perfect potential home for cavities. Dental sealants are used to fill in these grooves. You can think of them as little protective shields for teeth. However, the main thing to remember about dental sealants is that they are preventive, not restorative. That means they’re a procedure used to stop dental issues from occurring, rather than a way to treat an issue that’s already there. Sealants aren’t permanent. In general, you can expect them to last about 10 years.
What Is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a restorative dental procedure to repair and fill in the part of a tooth where decay has been cleaned out. If your child has a cavity, we can remove the decay and place a dental filling to strengthen the tooth and prevent further damage. Today, dental fillings last many years and can be made from different materials like tooth-colored composite resin or silver.
Additional Questions? We Have Answers!
If your kid doesn’t have any cavities, dental sealants are a good option to keep it that way by reducing the chance of decay developing. But if your child already has a cavity, then you’ll need to address the situation by getting rid of the decay and restoring the tooth with a dental filling. Contact Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry if you have additional questions about dental sealants and dental fillings or to schedule a checkup for your child. We look forward to hearing from you!