What are dental sealants?

A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth also called molars. Sealants are important and recommended to avoid tooth decay because the sealant forms a protective shield over the enamel of the tooth.

Why are sealants recommended?

Because the chewing surfaces of molars include grooves and pits, they can be hard to clean. That’s because the bristles of a toothbrush may not always be able to reach into the molar’s grooves. The sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, consequently protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth. Although this does not eliminate the chance of your child getting a cavity, it greatly reduces their risk.

We drink fluoridated water and use fluoridated toothpaste. Isn’t that enough?

Fluoride in toothpaste and in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth but back teeth need extra protection. Sealants cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and keep out germs and food.

What is the process of sealing molars?

Sealing a tooth is fast and painless. The tooth is cleaned and a liquid style filling material is placed in the groove. A light is quickly held over the sealant during the application process to make the sealant hard. This allows the sealant to bond quickly into the grooves of the teeth and form a protective shield. The sealants can last for several years before they need to be reapplied.