Sealants offer protection against tooth decay. The chewing surface of your molars and premolars is not flat – it has deep grooves called pits and fissures. Oftentimes, the bristles of your toothbrush cannot clean along the grooves very efficiently. In fact, over 75 percent of tooth decays start in these pits and fissures.
A sealant is a thin and colorless plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth to seal the grooves. It creates a smooth and easy to clean surface and offers long-term against tooth decay.
Sealants can guard against tooth decay for many years, but just the same, they need to be inspected regularly for chips and wear.
Sealants may be recommended for:
How are sealants applied?
Teeth to be treated with sealants are first cleaned thoroughly by a dentist or dental hygienist. Then, the area to be treated is surrounded with cotton to keep it dry. To help the sealant bond to the teeth better, a special solution is applied to the enamel surface of the teeth. After the teeth are rinsed and dried, sealant is painted over the deep grooves and depressions. Some types of sealants will harden on their own while other types will need to be cured with a special kind of light.
Sealants are an easy preventive treatment procedure and usually take just a couple of minutes for each tooth. You can prolong the life of sealants with proper home oral care, a well-balanced diet and regular visits to your dentist.