Pits and fissures of the molars, premolars, and deep grooves require a delicate sheet of coating called the sealant. Dental decay originates in these deep grooves, causing teeth to become tough to clean. When faced with these conditions, the teeth become susceptible to decay. The sealant acts as a protective shield once it is bonded into the grooves and depressions of the tooth. The sealant guards the tooth, closes deep grooves, prevents decay, and establishes an even surface. Although sealants can last up to 10 years, they must be checked during regular dental visits for wearing or chipping.
Who needs sealants?
Children and teenagers are the primary candidates for sealants and carry a higher chance of developing decay. Sealants become necessary once the permanent back teeth (six-year molars) emerge, or during cavity-prone years of 6 to 16.
Adults with no tooth decay who obtain deep grooves or depressions will benefit from sealants
Baby teeth occasionally require sealants if the child is cavity-prone or has deep grooves or depressions.
What do sealants involve?
The process of sealants is a quick and painless procedure. It only requires a few minutes per tooth and easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist.
The teeth are first carefully cleaned and kept dry with absorbent material. The enamel surface is then coated with an acid solution that allows the sealant bond to the teeth. After the treated teeth are washed and dried, the deep grooves and depressions of the enamel are carefully brushed with sealant material. The type of sealant used during the process determines whether the material will harden immediately or with a special curing light.
Proper protection, regular dental visits, and a healthy diet will assist in maintaining your new sealants.