Dental sealants are a plastic material that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to protect them against cavities. Sealants can be placed on any of the teeth, but they are usually placed on the premolars and molars, as these are the teeth that have decay the most often. The back teeth have crevices and depressions that are hard to clean when you brush and floss. Food and plaque can get caught in these grooves, which can cause decay. Having dental sealants placed will protect the molars and premolars. Sealants act as shields for your teeth, blocking out plaque.
Usually, dental sealants are placed on children and teenagers’ teeth when the premolars and molars first come in. Patients are more prone to cavities at these ages and sealants will help protect their teeth. Sealants can help adults as well. Be aware that dental sealants can only be placed on teeth that have no decay or dental restorations. Your dental sealants will last for years and can be replaced when needed.
Your dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly before placing dental sealants. Then a solution is placed on the teeth to roughen them. This will ensure for a strong bonding process. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. The dental sealant is painted onto the teeth, where it bonds into place. A curing light may be used to speed up the hardening process. When you come in for routine dental appointments, your dentist will monitor the condition of your sealants and reapply them if necessary.