Cavities After Sealants, What Do You Think Is Going on Here???

Updated on February 23, 2012
L.A. asks from Concordia, KS
16 answers

We just returned from our 2nd visit to our new dental office and they discovered that my 14 year old daughter has 5 cavities on 5 different back molars, and I was told that her sealants must have wore off by eating hard or chewy things. We have never missed a 6 month check up, so my question is why didn't they notice the sealants wore off 6 months ago? Also, she just got her braces off 4 months ago and so hasn't been able to eat anything hard or chewy until 4 months ago. I am having trouble believing that in just 6 months or less her sealants wore off AND she developed all these cavities? I looked it up and sealants are not guaranteed to last but generally last 5 years. Well, these teeth probably weren't even sealed until around 2 years ago.I feel we have sealed and resealed all her teeth through the years with our former dentist and now it seems the costs of all those sealants were a waste! We recently switched dentists due to driving distance, and our new dentist saw no problems at all 6 months ago. Also, my daughter had a full pan x-ray performed by her orthodontist two weeks ago. His comment was that everything looked beautiful, so he didn't see the cavities? My daughter does take decent care of her teeth. She wears an invisilign retainer and just by the sheer nature of caring for it, she has to take care of her teeth. My daughter said a friend claims the same thing happened to her and that her orthodontist believes that her dentist may have chipped her sealants off while poking on her teeth during a check up. Have you ever heard of greedy dentists doing this? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and experiences!

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answers from Columbia on

Get a second opinion.

I've gone to different dentists before and gotten different so-called treatment plans. Sounds bogus to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I too had sealants as a child and they did wear off, but not until I was almost 30! I started to grind my teeth around 25, so my dentist suggested that might be part of the issue. Perhaps her sealants we're not very good? That could be the problem, or that the cavities were there to begin with?

If she drinks soda, eats sugar, etc it could have an impact. So could hormonal changes in her body.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Lake Charles on

My husband had 3 root canals done for NO REASON. Well I should explain that he actually had 3 fillings done for no reason, that weren't done right and it led to him having to have the root canals.. after all that he went back to the dentist and the dentist told him he had 3 more cavities to fill. We moved before he could get in to see him again and the new dentist said his mouth was perfect. NO cavities. The dentist was bilking the insurance company for money because he knew my husband had no co-pay.. we reported him. Get a second opinion before you get these "cavities" fixed. And if it turns out that her mouth is fine then you need to report him to the ADA and the insurance company. Good luck, that sounds highly unlikely that the ortho saw an x-ray 2 weeks ago and said everything looked great!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

My response is that I would call the orthodontist and ask if you can bring the new X-Rays and have him compare them. If he just did a set and saw nothing someone is nuts. Either he did not do X-Rays but told you he did and charged you for them or the new dentist is bluffing you and there isn't any real damage. 2 weeks is not enough time.

My thoughts are that if the braces did just come off that perhaps there was damage under the braces and that is where the decay got in and started working their misery. But if the orthodontist took X-Rays and saw nothing...well, someone is either seeing things or not seeing things and I would find out which one and then yell at them for an hour or so.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

hmmmm... I've never had braces or a cavity but maybe the ortho chipped the sealant when s/he was taking off the braces. That sounds a bit more plausible than the Dentist doing it w/ that little tool.

Also - why don't you ask for your latest X-ray and bring it to the dentist and ask him/her to show you where the spots are that represent cavities?

I've had 3 different dentists tell me:

1) had a cavity and he was going to fill it. I was 15 and told him "no, I don't have a cavity" and got up out of the chair. 30 yrs later ... still no cavity.

2) had a 'special' X-ray done that magnified EVERYTHING... I was shown all the spots that were potential cavities. He did say that it IS magnified and that we can wait, or I can choose to be pro-active

When I asked him what is the rate of magnification on this machine... he couldn't (wouldn't??)answer me. He just looked at me w/ this blank face. Ummm... you just spent 5-10K on a piece of equipment and you don't know what rate it magnifies at?? RIGHT. Talk about feeling like your at a used car lot. That was 7 yrs ago.... still no cavities.

3) that I had some 'spots' in the x-ray and that I will probably have 2-3 cavities in about 6 mos. and that we can wait or fill them now. "I'll wait thanks".... 4 yrs later, still no cavity.



answers from Washington DC on

My sealants were done when I was 18 and when I was in my 20s, my dentist found out that they were improperly applied. They were full of cracks that allowed germs underneath but did not allow me to properly brush. My teeth that were not sealed were fine. The areas not sealed (like down between teeth where you might get cavities) were fine. I was so angry at the first dentist. My dentist said he sees it all the time. If you are not sure about the cavities, then you should see a new dentist for a 2nd opinion. You want someone you can trust. My dentist has a camera where he could show me on a TV screen what my teeth looked like and there were definitely problems.

It's hard when they are pointing fingers at each other, but the issue now is who fixes it and how you go forward. My DH pays extra to have dental ins. my dentist will take because he's had so many issues with the dentists and orthodontist covered by the HMO (we paid out of network for the last part of SS's braces and most of SD's braces).



answers from Columbus on

When it comes to cavities, especially if they suddenly see new ones, do get a second opinion. Over ten years ago, I was told that I had a new cavity. They even showed me the x-ray but I didn't see anything and I didn't believe them. Went to 2 different dentists who told me I had no cavities! And that tooth is still fine today. I should have reported this dentist when I had a chance.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would like to also encourage you to get a second opinion. I saw a dentist a couple of times a long time ago that told me I had a lot of cavities, so I never went back to him. (I didn't have insurance to cover it, and thought avoiding it would be better than paying for it out of pocket.) The next time I saw a dentist, quite a few years later, he told me my teeth were just fine. Now I see someone I trust, and it's quite a relief. Take your daughter to someone else, please!



answers from Washington DC on

Our dentist told us that cavities are mostly genetic. A couple of my daughter's molars came in with cavities already there and it happened in development. I don't have many (knock on wood) but my husband does. So hopefully they won't get his side of the family's teeth.



answers from Tulsa on

My daughter has hers redone each year because she grinds her teeth. We pay cash as insurance won't cover it.


answers from Los Angeles on

My dentist told me that sealants are never fool-proof. In fact, the dental hygienist that I've had for 30 years told me that all of her kids had them done and all of them had cavities.



answers from Madison on

Get a second opinion.

Our second dentist wanted to fill a whole bunch of cavities in my daughter's mouth, then wanted me to pay the bill before leaving the office--without waiting for the insurance paperwork to even be filed! The office people wanted me to pay the full amount the dentist had quoted me--and then got mad when I told them the dentist only filled half the cavities he'd said he would. They huffed and puffed and finally went to find the dentist--only to discover I was telling them the truth. I paid them their "extortion money," then my daughter and I left that dentist that same day and went to an independent dentist my husband had been going to. Best move we've ever made.

Our first dentist had a dental assistant who kept "finding" issues or problems wrong with our mouths, then tried to get the dentist to agree with her. What's up with that? Trolling for extra problems/money? We dropped him, only to end up with the second dentist who wanted to be paid before our insurance was even filed. (They had just built a brand new facility and brought in a whole bunch of dentists. With the economic times, I'm betting people weren't paying their bills. Tough. I don't pay until my insurance paperwork has gone through. They lost me and my daughter as sure-fire paying customers.).

Our third dentist--the independent one--we finally have faith in. When I had heavy metal toxicity and had to have the silver fillings in my mouth removed and replaced, he didn't try to price gorge me on it. He has written down all of our allergies, so he knows. He doesn't do anything unless it's necessary (that is, he doesn't "look" for problems just so he can bill us). My daughter has one soft tooth that has problems with enamel eroding. His is a wait and see approach. Every once in a while, he'll fill in a cavity on that tooth, but never unless it's needed; she will probably end up with a cap on that tooth, but he is interested in making sure that it will be a LONG TIME before that happens.

Yes, there are greedy dentists, just like there are doctors who will do unnecessary surgeries and give out unnecessary meds so they can make extra money.

I would get a second opinion.

HOWEVER, I will say that a friend of mine had her braces off and underneath her braces, she had a lot of cavities that needed to be filled. So it can happen. I'm not sure if their X-ray machines can see well underneath the braces--I've never seen an x-ray like that, so I can't say. But if her ortho hasn't mentioned that she has a lot of cavities--and he should know, since he's been following her with her braces--I would be very leery about this dentist's prognosis and would talk again with her ortho--tell him what this new dentist told you--and see another dentist if warranted. You don't want to "fill" teeth if it's not needed. Not to mention the expense to you.



answers from Minneapolis on

no kidding huh? i believe it-my kids had it done 20+ yrs ago their 30 now and only a couple cavaties between the two of them-go get a 2nd cannot develope that many cavaities in that short of time.and if the sealent was done correctly-her teeth should still be in excellent condition..when in doubt always get 2nd opinion



answers from Dallas on

My son had sealants put on about a year ago and when we went in for his next 6 month check up, all but one had worn off. Thank goodness he didn't have any cavities. A sealant only protects the biting surface of the tooth, not between the teeth. Flossing everyday helps prevent cavities there. I would get another opinion just to ease your mind. Good luck!



answers from Iowa City on

I'd get a second opinion, have the ortho send the x-rays to a new dentist.
my husband had a dentist that told him he needed $1500 in work and he couldn't afford it, so he went to a new dentist and she said he has great teeth!



answers from Seattle on

I had braces when I was growing up and sealants. The only time I ever had a cavities 5 of them was right after my braces were taken off... Even though I took good care of my teeth hard to brush everything off when you have braces for a few years.. Now that I am an adult.. I have not had another cavity but do grind my teeth at night so as a preventive measure I still have my teeth resealed evey so often. I know cavities are a bummer.

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