Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings which are applied to the groves of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from cavities and other forms of tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied to the back teeth in order to prevent cavities and nooks. The material that makes sealants is used to resist bacteria and acids as well as prevent destructive food particles. The sealants essentially ‘seal out’ food and plague.
The back teeth can be difficult to clean because of the grooves found on their chewing surfaces are deep and narrow. Even when brushing is carried out, not all the dental plaque present in the teeth is removed because of individual bristles of the toothbrush they are using. When the plaque does not clear away there is the risk of tooth decay. By bonding dental sealants into the grooves of a tooth a dentist is able to create a tooth surface that is smaller. Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at the age of 12. Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing the tooth structure. The process is short and easy.
When applying the sealants, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. The teeth are then washed off and dried and then a thin layer of plastic is painted over the nooks and crannies. A blue spectrum light is shined on the material to force the plastic to cure. After the sealants have hardened it turns into a thin layer of plastic covering the back teeth. I t takes about one minute for the sealant to form a protective shield. They can only be seen up close because they are clear, white or slightly tinted. Sealants can last up to five years or longer although they should be checked periodically for damage. They can also be replied if they are no longer in place.
Sealants keep germs and food particles out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants work together with fluorides in the prevention of tooth decay. They save time, money and the discomfort that is sometimes associated with dental fillings.