Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting tooth enamel against decay-causing bacteria, plaque and acids. They provide an extra layer of protection against tooth decay for both kids and adults. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Sealants are easy to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then ‘painted’ onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help it harden.
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. They hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. Although sealants offer extra protection against tooth decay, they do not replace brushing and flossing. During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.