What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are an effective preventive dental procedure used to protect teeth from cavities and tooth decay. They are essentially a plastic protective coating that is painted onto the chewing surface of teeth. While sealants are most commonly used in children—usually applied to the molars—adults can also benefit from dental sealants. This is especially true if patients suffer from deep pits or grooves on the chewing surfaces of their teeth.
Dental Sealants Applied?
The application of dental sealants is quick and completely non-invasive—they can be applied in just one appointment.
Your dentist will start by cleaning and polishing the teeth that need sealants. This is an important step to ensure all food particles, plaque, and bacteria are removed from the tooth enamel.
Next, your dentist will then apply the dental sealant coating one tooth at a time. Dental sealants flow into the grooves of the tooth and either hardens on its own, or is assisted with a high intensity light.
Once the sealants have hardened, the teeth are protected from cavity causing bacteria and thus prevent decay. The sealant also acts as a “seal” or barrier and protects tooth enamel from outside factors such as plaque or acids.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can last for several years before a reapplication is considered. As long as the dental sealant remains intact, the tooth surface is protected from tooth decay—sealants have proven to be very durable in both children and adults.