Dental sealants are used to coat and seal the teeth, helping to prevent food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and cause decay.
Sealants are typically used for the biting surface of molars and premolars and can eliminate the need for expensive and invasive treatments like dental fillings or crowns.
Sealants are often applied to children and teens as their permanent teeth erupt, but adults who don’t have decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from a sealant application.
Your dental professional will thoroughly evaluate your teeth to determine whether your pits and fissures are deep enough for sealant to help. Because sealant may not be required on all teeth, your dentist will recommend which teeth would benefit from the procedure.
Applying sealant is very simple and usually only takes a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is cleaned thoroughly, prepared with a special solution, and then dried.
The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to dry and harden, usually by shining a special light on it for a few seconds.
Sealants usually last for many years, but your dental professional will check them regularly to ensure they are still intact. The sealants can wear over time, so your dental professional may need to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
Now that your teeth have been sealed, they are even smoother and easier to clean. It’s recommended that you floss and brush with fluoride toothpaste before bed to remove any built-up food or bacteria, as well as once more during the day.
With proper home care, pit and fissure sealants will reduce your risk for tooth decay, lowering your risk for fillings.