If a child has preventive sealants placed, but then the sealant is totally or partially lost, is that tooth more susceptible to dental caries? I get this question from time to time. I am pleased to say that the answer I have been giving is backed up by a review of several scientific studies. Teeth with fully or partially lost sealants were not at a higher risk of developing caries than were teeth that had never been sealed.
Hey, kids chew ice and other things that may cause a sealant to chip or wear off. Most sealants are supposed to last from 5 -7 years if you take care of them. Sometimes they do not last 5-7 months on some kids. Still it is reassuring that there is not a higher risk.
Of course, there are studies that show teeth sealed have a lower incidence of caries-that's why we recommend them.
Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol 140, No. 4pp. 415-423, 2009.