Dental sealants are thin plastic barriers that are used to prevent cavities. Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of your posterior teeth where decay is more likely to occur. By providing a layer of protection over the enamel of your teeth, dental sealants prevent plaque buildup in areas that are often hard to reach with a toothbrush. Molars and premolars are examples of teeth that are vulnerable to tooth decay and therefore benefit from sealants.
What are the benefits to getting dental sealants?
Dental sealants provide a lifetime of benefits to your smile, including: A layer of protection that prevents tooth decay Prevention of serious dental issues that may cause loss of your natural teeth Avoidance of costly procedures, such as fillings, crowns, caps, and root canals Preservation of the appearance and functionality of your natural smile Sealants can last for up to 10 years but should be regularly checked by your dentist for wear and tear. Sealants can be easily reapplied if damage were to occur. How are sealants applied? The procedure for applying sealants is fairly simple and quick. Your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and dried. A solution is placed on the biting surface to help the sealant material to bond easily. Your dentist will then cover your tooth with the sealant material. A special curing light is then used to harden the sealant as it bonds to the depressions on the surfaces of your back teeth.
Who should get dental sealants?
Children and adolescents are the best candidates for dental sealants. Since children and teens are more prone to cavities, sealants are recommended as soon as premolars and permanent molars come to the surface. Dental sealants help to prevent tooth decay from destroying teeth early in life. Adults who do not have extensive decay or pre-existing fillings are also excellent candidates for dental sealants.