A dental sealant is a thin plastic resin coating painted on the crown (chewing surface) of the teeth. It is common for sealants to be applied to molars and premolars, or to any deeply-grooved areas to seal teeth and prevent tooth decay. A tooth is more difficult to clean and likely to develop decay when it has pits and grooves. An ultraviolet light is used to cure the sealant to the tooth enamel. The procedure seals out plaque and acids by creating a smooth surface.
Sealants are most commonly recommended for children. They are typically applied to their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. A sealant protects the teeth during the years when children are most prone to cavities. Adults may also be candidates for sealants, especially if they do not yet have decay or fillings. If you are wondering if a sealant is right for you, we are here to help.
First, the tooth is prepared by thoroughly cleaning and drying it. Then the surface of the tooth is roughened slightly, allowing the sealant to grip the tooth. Next the tooth is then cleaned and dried again. The sealant is then painted onto the surface of the tooth. Once the sealant is applied, a curing light affixes and dries it to a strong, permanent finish. Dental sealants can typically protect teeth for up to 10 years.