As part of your or your child’s dental prevention program, dental sealants are often recommended to protect permanent back teeth from developing dental decay. In fact according to the American Dental Association, dental sealants reduce the risk of cavities in molars by approximately 80%.
While establishing a good oral hygiene regimen, maintaining proper toothbrushing habits, and avoiding sticky sweets are essential for the prevention of dental decay, teeth often need more protection. The reason for this is that the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of the back permanent teeth can be difficult to keep free of leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria.
Dental sealants afford additional protection from dental decay by providing a strong resin protective coating for the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. They basically fill in the pits, fissures and grooves on these teeth to seal out harmful bacteria and food particles. Beyond preventing the development of cavities, sealants may also be useful over areas of incipient dental decay to stop further damage from occurring.
Applying dental sealants is a relatively quick and painless process. They are simply brushed on in a series of steps during a dental visit and then cured (set) with a light wand. Sealants are strong and durable and can last for several years. The condition of dental sealants will be evaluated at each checkup and reapplied if needed and if the tooth is cavity-free.