Thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces, but the toothbrush bristles cannot reach into all of the grooves of your posterior teeth. Sealants protect these vulnerable fissures by “sealing out” the bacteria. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces of the back teeth from cavities and should be applied when a child’s permanent teeth erupt. Though typically placed on children’s teeth, adult molars can also be treated with dental sealants, provided the targeted teeth show no evidence of decay.
Benefits of Sealants
- Help protect teeth from decay
- Provide long-lasting results
- Improve the appearance of the smile
This preventative procedure is fast and easy, and it requires no drilling or anesthesia. Applying sealants to the teeth takes only a few minutes and is performed in-office. After the teeth are cleaned and dried, a solution is applied to the treated teeth to prepare them for the bonding process. The teeth are then rinsed and dried a second time. The liquid sealant is placed on the surface of the teeth and cured to form a hard, durable coating.
There are no known side effects associated with sealants, and you can return to your eating normally following your treatment. Sealants are intended to last for several years before necessitating replacement. Your dentist will check the teeth treated with sealant during your regular check-up appointments and determine whether a follow-up application is necessary.