Our dentist in Jefferson Park provides a wide variety of treatments outside of routine checkups to improve your smile, including dental sealants and dental fillings. These treatments are especially common for children, but it can be difficult to determine whether a filling or a sealant is the best choice for the patient. Read about the differences below and don’t hesitate to contact our team with questions or concerns.
Dental sealants are another preventative barrier against tooth decay and damage in children, but adults may get sealants as a layer of prevention as well. Both molars and premolars have deep pockets and grooves in their structure, making them susceptible to food and plaque getting caught in them. This buildup of plaque and bacteria can ultimately lead to more serious problems such as a cavity.
Sealants are a thin coat that is painted over the surface of your teeth, specifically the back molars, in order to help prevent tooth decay. The material itself is tooth-colored and resembles a plastic-like film. It will naturally flow into your tooth’s grooves, and it is then cured with ultraviolet light so that the material hardens. Finally, our dentist in Jefferson Park will smooth any uneven material to ensure that your bite isn’t affected.
Unlike preventative dental sealants, dental fillings are restorative treatments designed to fill the hole in teeth that experienced previous decay. The fillings themselves are made from either tooth-colored material (composite) or a silver material (amalgam), but composite is typically the preferred material. During the procedure, we will numb the area so that you don’t feel any discomfort. Then, we will remove any previous restoration materials and decay, clean the cavity and apply the composite material. The last steps involve using ultraviolet light to harden the material followed by using a hand piece to adjust your bite.
Major Differences Between Sealants and Fillings
The main difference between these two procedures is the end goal: sealants focus on taking preventative measures to keep decay away while fillings are a restorative procedure that takes place after damage has already occurred. On average, fillings last 7-10 years while sealants don’t typically last longer than a year.
Our team at Kryzak DDS wants to help you and your family achieve your healthiest and happiest smile yet. For more information on sealants and fillings, call our dentist near Jefferson Park to schedule a consultation.