A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves, which are even too small for a toothbrush bristle to reach. Sealants only protect and aid to prevent decay on the surfaces they are applied to. The ultimate goal is to make a smooth, accessible surface that can be easily cleaned and maintained, all the while preventing an environment for bacteria to flourish and cause decay.
Reasons for sealants:
- 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 grooves or depressions.
- Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.
What do sealants involve?
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.
The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions. The material then is harden with a special curing light.
You will be given a warranty in case the sealants fail or need to be replaced. Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.