Dental Sealants

Brushing and flossing alone cannot always get into all the pits in the teeth and the hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. Inadequate cleaning can cause food particles and plaque to accumulate and this can lead to tooth decay.

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of one or more teeth to avoid dental caries. They are more commonly applied to the back teeth; the molars and premolars. The liquid sealant becomes a hard, thin layer that forms a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. This prevents food and plaque from getting caught and stuck within the depressions and grooves of the teeth.

Children are the most obvious candidates for sealants. They should visit their dentists for sealant applications as soon as their molars and premolars erupt. This may remain effective for five years or more and can protect their teeth through the cavity-prone years of six to fourteen. Each person has unique needs. Adults at risk for caries and those without prior filings may also benefit from sealants.

Though sealants can protect the teeth for years, they may need to be examined for chipping, wearing or breaking. They may be fixed and replaced by your dentist as necessary.