A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque, so sealants are used to protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.
Sealants work well for all ages. Because the likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But, adults can benefit from sealants as well.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. It takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. First, the tooth is cleaned. Next, the chewing surfaces are prepared to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. Then the sealant is 'painted' onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens.
Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Ask your dentist about whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program.
Contact us for more information about Sealants.