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Dental Sealants

Even with daily brushing and flossing, it can be difficult for kids to keep the chewing surfaces of their molars clean.

Dental sealants literally seal these teeth, guarding against the accumulation of cavity-causing bacteria and protecting your oral health.

Learn more about how our dentists, Ruth E. Bailey and Kasey R. Sliger, use sealants at our Knoxville, TN, practice to stop tooth decay...

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants act as a very thin protective coating against cavities. Made of a liquid solution, they are painted onto the molars, particularly the deep pits and grooves. The material is typically a type of plastic but sealants can also feature composite resin and other materials that are used in dentistry. Once the dental sealant has been cured with a light or other method, they are virtually unnoticeable to both the patient. 

Treatment Benefits A Trusted Preventive Solution


Receiving sealants at Cosmetic Dentistry of Knoxville is completely painless. The procedure is quick and no anesthesia is necessary. Your dentist will use a tool that is similar to a soft paintbrush to apply the solution.


Sealants can keep cavities from developing in the first place. Once tooth decay develops to a certain degree, you will require a dental filling. Fillings and other procedures that treat decay, like crowns and root canals, are both more involved and more expensive than sealants.


Sealants are a trusted dental solution because they work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children aged 6 to 11 are three times more likely to develop cavities if they don't have sealants placed.


Once they are in place, sealants require no special care and can last for years. Just continue practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist twice a year for check-ups so they can ensure the sealant material has not fallen off.

"Best dentist I have ever had." Hear from Our Patients


Coral Turner


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This is the best dental office I have ever been too. They don’t try to talk you into a lot of products or unnecessary procedures.

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Melinda Basler


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Dr Bailey’s office is always well-organized and professional. I have never had to wait for my appointment. She is the best dentist I have ever had.

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Are Sealants Only for Kids?

No. Sealants are recommended for anyone who is especially prone to developing cavities. Children often have trouble cleaning their back teeth well. Plus, they often consume sugary drinks and other types of foods that can make them more prone to developing decay. But that doesn't mean adults can't benefit as well. Sealants are a good option for:

  • Anyone with a family history of cavities
  • People taking medications that reduce saliva production
  • People with receding gums since the tooth roots are vulnerable to decay
  • Patients who have undergone radiation to treat head or neck cancer
Child in dental chair

Sealants & Insurance Coverage

This preventative treatment is nearly always covered by insurance for our pediatric patients. Adults, however, might not be covered. Our team can provide more information based on your specific plan.

Set up an Appointment with Us

At Cosmetic Dentistry of Knoxville, Drs. Bailey and Sliger use non-invasive and conservative dental techniques whenever possible. Sealants complement this approach to dentistry since they are an effective way to preserve an entire tooth's healthy structure.

If you are interested in learning more about how sealants can protect your or your child's smile, reach out to us today. You can email our Knoxville, TN, office with questions, request a consultation online, or call us at:

(865) 588-1294

Drs. Bailey and Sliger and team

Sealants Can Even Stop the Development of a Cavity

In the earliest stages when enamel initially begins to break down, cavities are referred to as dental caries. Eventually, these lesions will require a dental filling or, in more extreme cases, a dental crown or root canal. Fluoride can also be used to slow the progression of cavities on the back teeth, but a report released by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry found that sealants are more effective. Sealants are not only recommended to prevent cavities but also to slow their development.

"The gold standard in the practice of dentistry" More 5-Star Reviews


Sharon Collins


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Dr Bailey has set a standard of quality that, in this day and age, is not often encountered. She, as well as her dental assistant and office staff, are truly, as someone stated so well in their review, the gold standard in the practice of dentistry. I am so thankful to finally have the privilege of being cared for by this wonderful team.

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Edward Falls


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Dr. Bailey worked me into the schedule when I had a sudden chipped tooth, and fixed it in about ten minutes. It feels as close to how it did before the chipping as you could hope. She also gave me a discount for being a new patient, and everyone on her staff was friendly and considerate. I plan to return to Dr. Bailey for future dental needs, and I would recommend her practice to anyone.

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What to Expect during Treatment

Receiving sealants is completely painless and quick.
Receiving sealants is completely painless and quick.


Before we decide that sealants are right for you or your child, we will meet with you to discuss your concerns and go over health history. We can also discuss treatments to complement their protection, such as fluoride, and oral hygiene tips to guard your smile.


First, your dentist will clean and dry the chewing surfaces of your molars. Then they will place an acidic gel on the teeth to rough up the treatment area.


After the acidic gel has been rinsed off, your dentist will dry the area again and carefully paint the sealant material onto your back teeth, taking special care to cover the deep grooves.


In order to cure, or harden, the sealants in place, your dentist will use a special type of blue light to dry the material. Some types might not require this extra step. Once treatment is complete, you can eat and drink like you normally would.

Frequently Asked Questions

We believe patient education is an important part of the treatment process. We are happy to address any concerns you have during your visit. In the meantime, we've provided answers to FAQs we hear in our office.

Baby teeth fall out. Does my child really need sealants?

Each and every tooth in your child's mouth plays an important role. Think of them like placeholders. If a baby tooth falls out or needs to be extracted early, the surrounding teeth will begin to shift. This can increase your child's risk of misalignment and other serious oral health issues.

How long do dental sealants last?

According to the CDC, sealants can last up to nine years. It is normal for them to fall off during normal wear, so make sure to attend regular check-ups.

I use fluoride products. Isn't that enough?

Fluoride is another trusted way to protect your teeth and your child's teeth against tooth decay. The solution can be painted directly onto the teeth during check-ups and we also recommend that you use a toothpaste containing the mineral. That said, evidence has found that compared to a control (just fluoride), sealant patients were at a 73 percent lower risk of developing cavities.

I've heard dental sealants contain BPA. Is that true?

Dental sealants do contain BPA but the amounts have been found to be entirely safe. In fact, it's smaller than the amount we are exposed to every day when we wear certain types of makeup, handle receipts, and even breathe the air around us.

Sealants Are a Very Safe Treatment

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Cosmetic Dentistry of Knoxville

For over 30 years, the team of compassionate professionals at Cosmetic Dentistry of Knoxville has provided families in the greater Knoxville area with beautiful smiles through biomimetic dentistry. Our dentists are members of a number of national affiliations, including:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of Cosmetic Dentists
  • American College of Dentists
  • International College of Dentists
  • Academy of Biomimetic Dentists

To schedule an appointment at our Knoxville, TN, dentistry practice, contact us online or call (865) 588-1294.

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Knoxville Location

6001 Walden Dr
Ste 1
Knoxville, TN 37919

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