A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth; more than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves 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 during regular dental visits.
When are sealants placed?
What do sealants involve?
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist and the process takes a few minutes per tooth, depending on how clean the grooves are.
The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and kept dry by having a rubber dam placed around them. 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. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.
Proper home care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.