Can Dental Sealants be Placed on Existing Cavities?


Dental sealants are effective coatings applied to teeth to prevent cavities by forming a protective barrier. One common question is whether these sealants can be applied to teeth that already have cavities.

Understanding Dental Sealants

Definition of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent decay.

Benefits of Sealants in Preventing Cavities

They act as a shield, protecting teeth from bacteria and food particles that can cause cavities.

Application Process for Sealants

Sealants are applied after thorough cleaning and etching of the tooth surface, bonding directly to the enamel.

Can Dental Sealants be Applied to Teeth with Cavities?

Challenges and Considerations

Sealants are not suitable for teeth with existing cavities, as they are designed for prevention rather than treatment.

Alternative Treatments

Teeth with cavities require treatments like fillings or other restorative procedures.

Scenario: Discovering Cavities after Sealant Application

Managing Cavities Found Under Sealants

If cavities are detected under existing sealants, dentists will remove the sealant and treat the cavity accordingly.


In conclusion, while dental sealants are effective preventive measures for healthy teeth, they are not appropriate for teeth with existing cavities. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early cavity detection and appropriate treatment.

For more information about dental sealants and their applications, visit Lane Cove Family Dentist.

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