It may seem confusing to differentiate the terms “fillings” and “sealants”. After all, fillings and sealants are both procedures used to treat teeth and take less than 30 minutes to accomplish. Besides, they both appear to coat, shield, or cover the teeth. Nonetheless, sealants and fillings are different in many ways such as purpose and longevity. To find out more about their difference, read on.
Restorative vs. Preventive
Dental sealants and fillings are teeth treatment procedures, however, fillings are a restorative application while sealants are a preventive procedure. A filling works to repair damage on a tooth, normally from dental decay while sealants help cover part of a tooth in order to prevent damage from arising.
Fillings are necessary to treat a tooth after it develops cavities or a hole as a result of tooth decay. Oral acids tend to damage the enamel resulting in tooth decay. The acids dissolve or break up the minerals that form the enamel, including calcium and phosphorous. The dissolution weakens the enamel, hence causing holes or cavities. After a cavity forms, a dentist has to remove the decayed part of your enamel and clean the area prior to filling it with a special filling material. Dental filling prevents further damage from occurring to a tooth by preventing bacteria from entering the tooth. Oral bacteria can cause infection or decay in a tooth.
If a tooth has not suffered any decay, dental sealants can be a solution. They are normally added to the surfaces of the molars. The chewing areas of molars are deeply grooved, allowing food and plaque to dislodge and settle on the teeth. Applying sealants helps fill those grooves while also forming a barrier that helps protect the teeth from acids.
Due to oral acids being released by bacteria within the mouth, the deep grooves are an ideal setting for decay. Oral bacteria feed on carbohydrates left in the mouth after the digestion of food. The deep crevices will trap the food leftovers. As bacteria mixes with the leftover debris, they forms plaque, which adheres to the surfaces of the teeth, allowing acids to directly get in contact with your enamel before it has been diluted by saliva. As such, tooth decay occurs. When sealants are applied, they shield the enamel against oral acids and plaque.
To have a deeper understanding of how sealants and fillings work and their difference, contact our dental team. Set up an appointment.
Dentist Wilsonville, OR • About Boones Landing Dental Center Looking for a new family dentist Wilsonville? Come to Boones Landing Dental Center. Healthy smiles for healthy families start with a professional family dentistry. Boones Landing Dental Center, 30485 SW Boones Ferry Road, Suite 203, Wilsonville, OR 97070 + (503) 601-0610 + boonedmd.com + 1/28/2023 + Tags: about us,dentist wilsonville,dentist wilsonville or