Do Dental Sealants Really Work?

You know how to take care of your teeth — brush twice a day, floss once, and have them professionally cleaned and checked every six months. But what if you were born with a disadvantage that made your teeth more susceptible to cavities, no matter how diligent you are with your oral hygiene routine? 

Some people have extra deep crevices in the chewing surfaces of their teeth, and it’s almost impossible to keep bacteria out of those nooks and crannies. That’s where we come in.

At Centerport Family & Implant Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, Benjamin C. Wang, DMD, and our team of dental professionals specialize in keeping your teeth strong and healthy regardless of the circumstances. Whether you have severe decay and need a root canal or are missing a tooth and need an implant, we can repair your smile and restore your oral health.

But as much as we love fixing dental problems, we would much rather help you prevent them from arising in the first place. And that’s why we offer dental sealants

Dental sealant basics

In the same way that nail polish coats and protects your nails and car wax forms a barrier between your vehicle and the elements, dental sealants add a clear protective layer of plastic over the chewing surfaces of your teeth to prevent harmful bacteria from entering.

The super thin sealant bonds with your teeth and completely covers the tiny pits and fissures that would otherwise be the perfect breeding ground for cavities.

Who needs dental sealants?

In an ideal world, no one would need dental sealants. The natural enamel on your teeth coupled with proper brushing, flossing, and cleanings should keep your teeth strong and healthy. But some people need a little extra protection.


Children are notorious for not brushing well. They don’t brush long enough, and they often miss their back teeth. They also tend to eat more sugary foods. This is a perfect recipe for cavities. But sealants give these novices an insurance policy against tooth decay.

Challenged brushers

If you have difficulty keeping your teeth clean, you may be a good candidate for sealants. People with physical and mental disabilities gain a helping hand from sealants, so those hard-to-reach places stay safe from bacteria. 


Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, you may have grooves and crevices that leave your teeth vulnerable. Sealants can give you an extra measure of protection that helps you avoid cavities.

Do dental sealants work?

Yes, dental sealants work very well. In fact, many school districts even provide sealant programs for their students who are less likely to have access to private dental care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that dental sealants prevent over three million cavities, which also saves parents more than $300 million dollars annually. 

And this protection lasts for quite a while. For the first two years after application, dental sealants protect against 80% of cavities, and keep protecting against 50% of cavities for four years. 

So, whether you were born with vulnerable teeth or just need some extra protection, we can help you keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime with dental sealants. To find out if they’re right for you, call our office or book an appointment with Dr. Wang online today.

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