What are sealants?
Sealants are thin plastic-like coatings that are bonded to the surface of molars and premolars which are more deeply grooved than other teeth.
What are they used for?
Sealants are a safe, painless, and low-cost way of preventing the occurrence of cavities. They form a hard protective layer on the biting surface and in the narrow grooves of a tooth. Toothbrush bristles are too thick to reach down into these grooves so sealants prevent food and bacteria from getting caught in these grooves to cause decay. Usually, permanent molars and premolars are sealed, but in some cases, baby teeth are protected.
How is it done?
Applying a sealant is a similar process to bonding. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned using an etching gel, then it is dried. The sealant is painted onto the tooth surface and hardened with a special light.
How long does it last?
Sealants can last for many years. If they chip or wear down, they can easily be replaced. Clenching, grinding, and chewing hard foods or candies can damage sealants therefore initiating an earlier replacement.