Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars) to help prevent tooth decay. The sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the tooth and hardened, creating a barrier that keeps out plaque and food particles.
The process of applying sealants is quick and easy, it usually takes only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is first cleaned and dried, then an etching solution is applied to the surface of the tooth to roughen it. This helps the sealant bond to the tooth. The liquid sealant is then applied and hardened using a special light.
Sealants are most commonly used in children and teenagers, as their permanent molars and premolars are most at risk for tooth decay. However, adults can also benefit from sealants if they have deep grooves or fissures in their teeth that are difficult to clean.
Sealants can last for several years and are an effective way to prevent tooth decay, especially in areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. They can help to keep the teeth clean and healthy and can save time and money in the long run by avoiding the need for fillings.
It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as brush and flossing regularly, and to visit the dentist for regular check-ups, including cleaning, to ensure the sealants are still in good condition and to detect any oral issues in the early stages.