Many people have deep pits and grooves in their teeth where bacteria and food particles can hide and cause decay. Children may also develop decay on hard-to-reach molars. For situations like these, dental sealants offer a means of protecting molar and premolar chewing surfaces.
Dental sealant is a plastic resin that bonds to the deep grooves in your tooth's chewing surface. First, we identify and fill any spots of decay, then prepare your teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. After about 15 seconds, we thoroughly rinse the solution, dry the surface, coat your teeth with the sealant, and harden it with a curing light. The entire procedure is fast, easy, and comfortable. It takes about 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to seal. With sealants, tooth brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are usually applied to children's teeth as a preventative measure during the years of most likely tooth decay. However, adults' teeth can also be sealed. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every person has unique needs. Your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants generally last from 3 to 5 years. However, it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your sealant comes off you must let your dentist know.