Dental sealants are resin based dental materials placed over the grooves (pits and fissures) of your teeth to prevent dental cavities. Pits are small holes that occur on the biting surfaces of your teeth, and fissures are deep grooves on top of a tooth’s surface. These areas are prime spots for bacteria to adhere to and where dental cavities develop. The sealants act as a barrier to protect your teeth from harmful bacteria.
Adults and children can all benefit from a dental sealant. Many adults choose to place sealants on their adult teeth as a preventative measure. They are mostly placed on permanent molars (permanent back teeth) but can also be placed on your premolars (the smaller teeth in front of the back molars). Sealants can be placed on children’s baby teeth as a preventative measure as well. Many times, a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves and parents opt to protect them.
If you have any questions regarding dental sealants and when they are needed, please call and ask our dental team.
Applying a sealant is simple and painless. There is no need for any numbing agents. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned, dried and isolated. Then an etchant material is placed to roughen up the surfaces, which helps the dental sealant material adhere. The tooth is then rinsed and sealant material is applied and cured by a LED light, which hardens the material.
On average sealants can last up to 10 years. However, a dental sealant can deteriorate from wear and tear and should be checked at your regular dental appointments. If any chipping or wear is evident, the dentist or hygienist can repair or replace your sealants.