Dental sealants are preventive dental treatments that smooth and seal the irregular chewing surfaces of premolars and molars. They help prevent bacteria getting trapped and tooth decay from occurring and also make the surfaces easier to clean.
The chewing (occlusal) surfaces of your molars and premolars are rough and contain small indentations. Brushing twice a day and flossing can help clean the smoother surfaces of bacteria, but the bristles of our toothbrush cannot always effectively clean the grooves and depressions of the back teeth. This can lead to bacterial deposits getting trapped, which eventually may lead to tooth decay in these areas.
A sealant is a coat of acrylic or plastic, and the way it is applied is simple, quick and painless. As a matter of fact, applying sealants only takes a few minutes per tooth. The procedure begins with preparing the teeth for dental sealant application. A dental cleaning may be performed prior to this if there is any existing plaque deposits or food debris that needs to be removed from the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Next, an etching solution will be applied to roughen the tooth and help the sealant bond. The acrylic or plastic material is then painted onto the tooth and allowed to dry. Once it hardens, our dental professionals will check your bite and also check to see that all the indentations have been sealed.
When used in conjunction with proper oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing and flossing, and professional care such as checkups, cleanings and fluoride applications, sealants can go a long way in helping you maintain strong, healthy teeth.