Myth vs. Reality: The Real Facts About Dental Sealants

dentist in Southwest Portland,

As your dentist in Southwest Portland, we at Terwilliger Dental believe in the power of preventative care. Dental sealants can be an incredible tool to keep teeth healthy. But what exactly are dental sealants, and how can they benefit your family’s health? Let’s dive into the basics.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, also known as molars and premolars. The back teeth are most prone to decay due to grooves and fissures.

Sealants are painted onto the teeth in a simple, pain-free procedure.

Preventative Care: Dental sealants act as a barrier against cavities. They cover the deep grooves and crevices, preventing food particles and plaque from getting trapped. By sealing these grooves, we significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay, making sealants a proactive step in maintaining dental health.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, kids ages 6-11 who don’t get sealants are three times as likely to develop tooth decay.

Cost-Effective: Sealants help patients avoid dental treatments like fillings, crowns or root canals. The initial investment in sealants can save patients time and money in the long run. Many insurance policies will cover sealants as well.

Myths About Dental Sealants

At Terwilliger Dental, your trusted dentist in Portland, we’re dedicated to offering top-tier preventative care, including applying dental sealants.

Myth 1: Sealants Are Only for Children
Yes, dental sealants are usually applied to children and teens. This age group is less likely to have dental work already done. And let’s face it — they’re also known for being less-than-perfect at brushing and flossing regularly.

However, adults are sometimes good candidates as well. If you don’t have any fillings or crowns, ask your dentist on Barbur if sealants make sense.

Myth 2: Sealants Contain Harmful Chemicals
Concerns about chemicals, particularly BPA, in dental sealants are often raised. Rest assured, the levels of BPA in sealants are minimal and deemed safe by dental standards. As a leading dentist in southwest Portland, we prioritize your safety by using the highest quality materials.

Myth 3: Applying Sealants Is Painful
Contrary to some beliefs, applying sealants is a painless, non-invasive procedure. At Terwilliger Dental, we ensure the process is comfortable, quick and stress-free.

Myth 4: Sealants Cause Tooth Decay
Sealants protect teeth from decay by covering crevices where bacteria typically accumulate. However, good oral hygiene is essential, as sealants don’t cover all areas of the tooth. If teeth aren’t carefully cleaned and examined before the sealants are applied, bacteria can be “sealed in.” That’s why finding a dentist in Southwest Portland who you can trust is so important.

Myth 5: Sealants Are Expensive and Not Covered by Insurance
Many are surprised that dental insurance often covers sealants, especially for younger patients. Check with your insurance and then give us a call.

Myth 6: Sealants Are Visible and Unattractive
Modern dental sealants are clear or tooth-colored, making them practically invisible. As your dentist on Barbur, we ensure your sealants blend perfectly with your natural teeth, maintaining your brilliant smile.

Myth 7: Sealants Last Forever
Sealants are robust, but they do have a lifespan. Typically, they last up to 10 years, but factors like eating habits can affect their longevity. Get regular check-ups with your dentist in Portland for monitoring and maintenance.

Myth 8: No Need for Regular Check-Ups With Sealants
Even with sealants, regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential. They complement sealants in preventing decay and maintaining overall oral health. As your dentist in Southwest Portland, we recommend consistent visits for comprehensive dental care.

Myth 9: They’re Not Proven
The science is in! The American Dental Association recommends “placing sealants on the primary and permanent molars of all children and adolescents to prevent caries [cavities].”

Sealants from Your Dentist in Southwest Portland

At Terwilliger Dental, we believe in the power of informed decisions. We’re here as your dentist in SW Portland, Oregon, and as your partner in maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.

Questions about dental sealants or ready to book an appointment? Contact us — your friendly and knowledgeable dentist in Portland. Let’s keep your family smiling for years to come.