A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep groves and crevices (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep groves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep groves from food and bacteria and creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
REASONS FOR DENTAL SEALANTS:
- Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep groves or depressions and the child is prone to cavities.
- Children and Teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
- Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep groves or depressions.
WHAT DO DENTAL SEALANTS INVOLVE?
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist in only a couple of minutes per tooth.
The tooth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then isolated with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the tooth. The tooth is then rinsed and dried. Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions.
Proper home care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits will extend the life of your new sealants.