Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, dental sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.
A sealant is a thin, protective coating (similar to tooth colored fillings) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. Molar teeth have deep pits and grooves on the biting surface that are too narrow for bristles of toothbrush to clean and are the highest risk to develop cavities. They are not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.
Sealants are a great preventative measure. In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by 100% in sealants that remain completely sealed. “School-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.” After the sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.
Your dentist will utilize a laser to clean and prepare the tooth for the sealant. They will then dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth, this gel roughs up your tooth surface, so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, your dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.
There are no waiting restrictions after sealant placement. Children can eat and drink right away.