child smiling in a coat after visiting our San Antonio pediatric dentists

Sealants vs. Fillings: Explained By Pediatric Dentists

November 14, 2023 7:03 pm
Cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Thus, it’s natural for parents to ask our San Antonio pediatric dentists about the best ways to protect against and treat tooth decay. Often, parents ask us to explain the difference between dental sealants and dental fillings. While both treatments preserve teeth and protect dental health in their own way, understanding both options can help parents make informed decisions about their kids’ health.

Function & Purpose

Sometimes, pediatric dentists recommend dental sealants as a preventative measure for young patients. These transparent or tooth-colored coatings create a barrier that seals out decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of teeth, particularly on the back teeth that are harder to reach with a toothbrush. This simple and painless procedure helps to keep cavities from forming in the first place. Conversely, our pediatric dentists place dental fillings to restore teeth that have already suffered damage from cavities. By treating and repairing tooth decay, dental fillings can stop cavities in their tracks. 

How Our Pediatric Dentists Prepare the Teeth

Generally, dental sealants require less preparation. Before painting on the dental sealant, we strongly suggest undergoing a thorough professional dental cleaning and exam for optimal results. In contrast, dental sealants are applied to cavities that have already formed. Therefore, our pediatric dentists must remove the decayed tissue and clean the treatment area for a successful outcome.

How It Works

With dental sealants, our pediatric dentists apply a thin layer of biocompatible plastic material directly over chewing surfaces to keep bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in the grooves and forming cavities.  On the other hand, our pediatric dentists remove any damaged portion of the tooth and fill the missing portion of the tooth with a durable material, such as composite resin.

Reliable, Proven Anti-Cavity Treatment

In summary, dental sealants and dental fillings are two very different procedures that are both great in their own right. Knowing which option is right for your child can be challenging, but our San Antonio pediatric dentists can help you make an informed decision. Trust us to provide reliable and knowledgeable advice on how best to maintain your child’s oral health. Caring for your child’s teeth is essential to upholding a good oral hygiene routine and ensuring that they have healthy teeth and gums for years to come, which might include dental sealants and dental fillings at some point. To achieve the best possible dental care for your family, seek out the advice and treatment of a pediatric dentist you can trust.  At Brooks Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we understand how essential it is to provide the best care to your children, which is why we strive to offer comprehensive services tailored to their individual needs. For more information about dental sealants, fillings, or both, or if you’re in need of assistance determining which procedure is proper for your child, call our San Antonio pediatric dentists today at 210-941-4863! We look forward to providing exceptional pediatric dental care that meets all of your expectations.

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