A member asked:

How can you get cavities after getting dental sealants? my daughter had dental sealants done at her last dentist visit, and this time we've been told she has a cavity in one of the same teeth that the sealant was applied to. how is that possible? was the

14 doctors weighed in across 8 answers
Dr. Theodore Davantzis answered

Specializes in Dentistry

I : I know this may sound odd, but how long ago were the sealants placed (your last dental visit)? Six months? One year? Three years? Sealants and a very thin layer of resin that is flowed into the nooks and crannnies of the back teeth. They do not last forever, three to four years, plus or minus. It may very well be that the sealant chipped or debonded, either from normal wear and tear or from a moisture contamination during placement. It is hard to answer your question definitively sight unseen and not knowing how long ago they were done. Or, the cavity may be on a different surface of the tooth that was not sealed in the first place.

Answered 7/14/2019


Dr. Neil McLeod answered

Specializes in Prosthodontics

Tooth : Tooth decay is a perforation through the outer surface of the tooth by acid. I think it is useful to understand the dynamics of what is happening in the mouth and how teeth become decayed. The teeth are covered with a hard outer layer of enamel which is made a crystalline structure called calcium hydroxy apatite. It is laid down on a frame work of protein. The inner layer is dentin and is made of a similar material but is softer more like bone. The enamel disolves in weak acid, like apple juice and soda pop, and dental plaque, and as long as the protein matrix is not damaged the saliva can reconstitute the clean crystal surface. But if the protein matrix is damaged which is what happens when the plaque covers the damaged area or if the protein is rubbed off then the hole or cavity gets deeper and deeper an must be filled. The fact that your daughters teeth were sealed is not a guarantee that she will not get decay in another part of the tooth, or even beside or under the seal. It depends upon how well and when the seal was placed, and whether she has good oral hygiene. I strongly recommend that you have your daughter's teeth thoroughly checked again, and make sure her home care is well evaluated too. Dr neil mcleod dds dentistry that lasts - quality that counts.

Answered 8/23/2017


Dr. Howard Schneider answered

Specializes in Pediatric Dentistry

Not foolproof: Dental sealants are not foolproof. They reduce that chance of getting a cavity on a sealed tooth by about 80%. Sealants only protect the chewing surface (the most common area to get a cavity on permanent molars) not in between teeth. Sealants can also get pulled off if you eat sticky foods. Generally if a sealed tooth does get a cavity on the chewing surface it tends to be small and easy to fix.

Answered 7/13/2017


Dr. Arnold Malerman answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

Not foolproof: Kids today don't get a lot of cavities primarily because of fluorides and sealants. Sometimes sealants break or wear out. Sometimes kids get cavities between teeth from not flossing. Sealants only protect the chewing surface of the tooth. No system is foolproof. When i was a kid we all had ear-to-ear silver fillings. Today many kids grow up without any fillings.

Answered 11/16/2017


Dr. Eric Eltzroth answered

Specializes in

It is possible: Dental sealants help reduce the risk of developing cavities on the biting surfaces of teeth. They can’t prevent 100% of cavities from forming. Whenever you have tooth structure, you have the chance of developing decay.

Answered 7/8/2018


Dr. Debra Rosenblatt answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Do a comp/seal: There are many variables. Where is the area of decay? The sealant protects the biting surface only. You need to use dental floss on a regular basis to avoid decay between the teeth. What is her diet? Sticky candy can pull off the sealants. Sealants are an adjunct in addition to excellent home care and regular dental visits.

Answered 3/14/2015


Dr. Gary Sandler answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Limitations: First, most parents misunderstand exactly what a sealant is as well as where it is applied. It does NOT cover the entire tooth, nor even the entire biting surface. It is only meant to "seal" the defective pits & fissures of the teeth. The other parts of the teeth are therefore not protected & therefore can decay. Finally, no restoration can stop decay from unrefined sugars and poor oral hygiene.

Answered 11/22/2016


Dr. Paul Grin answered

Specializes in Pain Management

Of course: sealants are a great way to help to protect your teeth, but you can still get tooth decay if you do not take care of your teeth in other ways! It's important to also brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Eat a healthy diet and see your dentist on a regular basis.

Answered 3/16/2015



Related Questions

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Can i apply dental sealants on molars that already have filled cavities?

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