Dental sealants are used to prevent the occurrence of decay and cavities on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants are made from a thin layer of plastic that is painted directly on the teeth to smooth out pits and fissures that are common on molars. This creates a barrier against harmful bacteria and acids, while also making the teeth easier to clean.
The deep grooves usually found on back teeth are home to almost 75 percent of all tooth decay. These areas are difficult to clean, even with regular brushing and flossing. By smoothing out these surfaces, they become easier to clean and maintain.
Children and teenagers who are still developing proper brushing and flossing habits are excellent candidates for dental sealants. Adults who are at high risk for decay may also receive dental sealants to protect their back teeth.
Sealants can be applied in one visit. The treatment is quick and painless.The process starts by drying and cleaning the tooth or teeth to be sealed. An etching solution is used to roughen the surface of the teeth to help the sealant bond. Once this is rinsed off, the sealant is painted onto the teeth.