What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental Sealants are plastic coatings that is placed on the chewing surfaces of permanent back teeth including the molars and the premolars that help to protect them against tooth decay. Dental sealants have been used as a preventative measure for tooth decay since the 1970s and can last up to 10 years.
Chewing surfaces of grooves (fissures) that may be difficult to clean and act as a trap for bacteria to hide and start the decay process.
Sealants are usually placed when the first permanent molar erupts into the mouth which grows behind the baby teeth. Occasionally, if a child is at high risk for decay, sealants may be recommended on baby teeth as well. They can be placed on all back teeth of children or even in adults who are at high risk for cavities or any unfilled chewing surface.
What Can I Expect?
The tooth to be sealed is thoroughly cleaned of debris using pumice and a rotating brush. Next, the tooth is rinsed and dried. A solution that is acidic is then placed along the grooves for a number of seconds and is rinsed off. This creates small micropores in the enamel surface to “roughen” up the enamel surface to allow the sealant to properly adhere. After the tooth is dried again, the liquid dental sealant is placed in the grooves and the dental sealant hardens by placing a light that cures it. No local anesthetic in required for treatment