Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. A sealant is a thin, plastic-like coating usually applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth (molars and premolars) and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these areas.
Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean because toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque, so they are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque, food and acids, and creating a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.
Applying Dental Sealants
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 where it bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures). Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.
This plastic resin Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last many years. During your regular dental visits, Marion Dental Associates will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Where Sealants May Benefit:
- Children and teenagers – Ages 6-16 tend to be cavity prone years. Sealants may be applied as soon as the first permanent back teeth appear, or at any time during these years.
- Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves may be protected and preserved with sealants.
- Baby teeth – Occasionally even baby teeth may have deep grooves, which, if not sealed, can cause a child to be cavity prone.