A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is applied to teeth to help prevent tooth decay. Sealants are most commonly applied to molar teeth, but can be used to protect any tooth that is susceptible to decay from bacteria.
Molar teeth contain many pits and grooves on their biting surface. These pits and grooves are common areas that cannot be easily cleaned but where food debris and bacteria can easily collect. Over time, the bacteria decays the tooth surface, which then requires a filling.
Sealants can be placed on a tooth to seal out the food debris and bacteria from the pits and grooves of teeth. Sealants can last for many years, protecting the tooth during the cavity prone years.
Placement of a sealant is a quick and easy procedure, usually requiring no anesthetic. It is done in one dental visit. The tooth is prepared with conditioning materials, then the sealant is bonded into place. The sealant flows into the pits and grooves of the teeth, preventing bacteria from collecting in those hard to clean areas. The six and twelve-year-old molars are the most common teeth to be treated with sealants, however, a sealant can be used to protect any tooth.
A sealant is an easy, affordable preventative service that can help keep your child's mouth free from dental decay. Sealants can also be used on adult teeth to reduce the incidence of decay.