Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. It is recommended that sealants be used on the permanent molars as soon as they erupt, usually around age six. The process of applying sealants is quick and easy and does not require any drilling.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then 'painted' onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. 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.
At our family dental practice, we encourage our patients to become active participants in their dental treatment. Our dedicated dental hygienists are active educators and serve as the cornerstone of our program to prevent dental disease with regular dental cleanings and checkups. Our dental hygienists will take the time to educate children about the importance of proper dental hygiene and preventative dental care.