Reviewed by Dr. Gary Morris, DDS

If you’re like most people, you will eventually need some form of dental treatment to protect and preserve your teeth. But how do you decide between dental sealants and fillings?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between these two common treatments, discover their benefits, and give you the knowledge you need to choose the right procedure at the right time. 

Fill Them Up: Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a tried and true method for treating tooth decay, one of the leading oral health issues that can affect anyone. When your tooth enamel becomes weakened, it’s vulnerable to developing cavities, which is where fillings come in.

Dental fillings are a restorative procedure. They work by removing the decayed area of the tooth and filling it with a special biocompatible material. This tooth filling helps protect and strengthen the tooth structure, preventing further damage.

Advantages of Dental Fillings

  • Fillings are durable, long-lasting solutions for treating cavities.
  • Tooth fillings can be completed in just one dental appointment.
  • Composite fillings, made from a tooth-colored composite resin, have a natural appearance. They can blend seamlessly with your teeth, making your dental work nearly invisible.

Disadvantages of Dental Fillings

  • Dental fillings may need to be replaced over time, depending on the materials used.
  • Fillings made from silver amalgam, a commonly used material, can pose aesthetic concerns due to their metallic appearance.
  • Tooth preparation for a cavity filling often requires the removal of some healthy tooth structure.

Seal the Deal: Dental Sealants

Unlike dental fillings, which treat existing decay, dental sealants are a preventative measure that helps protect against tooth decay. They are typically recommended for children and teens or people with deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of their teeth.

Sealants form a protective barrier on the tooth surface, particularly over the deep grooves where cavities are most likely to develop. This barrier is made of a biocompatible material (usually a composite resin) and is applied using ultraviolet light to bond it to the tooth surface.

Advantages of Dental Sealants

  • Dental sealants are easy and painless to apply, making them ideal for baby teeth.
  • They provide a long-lasting preventive measure against the risk of cavities.
  • Dental sealants for sensitive teeth help to reduce tooth sensitivity by sealing the tooth’s porous surface.

Disadvantages of Dental Sealants

  • Dental sealants may need to be reapplied over time.
  • They can only be applied to the chewing surface of teeth, not to treat decay between teeth or in other areas.
Key Takeaway

The choice between dental sealants and fillings depends on your oral health needs. Sealants prevent cavities, while fillings treat decay. Proper aftercare and regular check-ups are crucial for oral health.

Which One Is Right for You?

Dental sealants and fillings serve different purposes within your oral health routine. Sealants are proactive in preventing cavities, while fillings treat existing tooth decay. The advancements in dental technology, such as tooth-colored composite resins, have significantly improved the appearance and effectiveness of both dental procedures.

As a general rule, consider dental sealants as a preventive measure for you and your children, especially when there’s a history of cavities or deep grooves in your teeth. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or a cavity has already developed, speak to your dentist about getting a filling. 

Ultimately, the decision will depend on the state of your oral health and the recommendation of your dental professional.

Aftercare for Dental Procedures

Whether you opt for dental sealants or fillings, proper aftercare is crucial for maintaining good oral health. Here are some tips to follow after your procedure:

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything hot, cold, or hard for the first few hours after your dental procedure.
  • Take pain medication as needed and directed by your dentist to help with discomfort.
  • Continue brushing and flossing regularly to maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Attend regular dental check-ups to monitor the condition of your teeth and restorations.

Dental Sealants vs Fillings: Trust Morris Dental Solutions

Dental issues can be costly and time-consuming, leading to discomfort and inconvenience for patients. Many people need help deciding whether to choose dental sealants or dental fillings, not fully understanding the differences and benefits of each option.

At Morris Dental Solutions, our knowledgeable team will guide you in making an informed decision. Our expert dentists, Dr. Morris, Dr. Spina, or Dr. Rosenbaum, will assess your needs and provide personalized recommendations for the best treatment option. With our state-of-the-art treatments and personalized care, you can confidently choose the best solution for a healthy and happy smile.

If you are looking for a dentist in Buffalo Grove, IL, trust the experts at Morris Dental Solutions. Call us at (847) 215-1511 or complete the online booking form to schedule your appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get Dental Fillings While Pregnant?

Yes. Dental fillings are safe for pregnant women, and it’s essential to treat any tooth decay during pregnancy to prevent further complications.

Is a Broken Filling a Dental Emergency?

It depends on the severity of the damage. If you experience severe pain or discomfort, contact your dentist immediately for advice and possible emergency treatment.

Are Dental Fillings Permanent?

Dental fillings are long-lasting, but they may need to be replaced over time. Dental filling aftercare, which includes good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, can help prolong the lifespan of your fillings. Your dentist will monitor your fillings during regular check-ups and recommend replacements if needed.

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealants can last a long time with proper care and maintenance. However, they may need to be reapplied if damaged or worn down over time.

What Are Dental Sealants Made Of?

Dental sealants are typically made of a composite resin material, similar to fillings. This material is biocompatible and safe for use in the mouth. It does not contain any harmful substances such as BPA.

Should I Get Dental Sealants?

Consider dental sealant pros and cons with your dentist before making a decision. If you have deep grooves in your teeth or are at risk for cavities, dental sealants can be an effective preventive treatment. However, if you already have tooth decay or other dental issues, your dentist may recommend fillings instead.
If you are searching for ‘dental fillings near me’ or ‘dental sealants near me’, contact Morris Dental Solutions.

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