A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard to reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
HOW ARE SEALANTS APPLIED?
First the teeth are cleaned, dried, and isolated with cotton rolls in order to keep them from getting wet again before the sealant application. Each tooth is sealed individually. A conditioning gel is placed on the tooth in order to prepare it for bonding. The conditioning gel is then rinsed off, and the tooth is once again dried. At this point, the tooth is ready to accept the sealant. Then the flowable resin sealant material is applied to the deep grooves and fissures in the chewing surfaces of the tooth using a specific applicator brush. A special light is used to cure and bond the sealant material to the enamel surface of the tooth.This seals out microscopic bacteria that cause cavities to form in the deep pits and grooves of teeth.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also benefit from sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than baby teeth, but every patient has individual needs that should to be decided on a case by case basis.