Dental sealants are a plastic material that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to protect them against cavities. Sealants can be placed on any of the teeth, but they are usually placed on the premolars and molars. That is because the back teeth are the most prone to decay. The molars and premolars have crevices and grooves that are hard to clean even if you brush and floss properly. Plaque and food particles can get caught in these depressions, which can cause tooth decay. Having dental sealants placed will protect your molars and premolars. Sealants block plaque out of your teeth.
Usually, dental sealants are placed on children and teenagers’ premolars and molars when they first come in. Children and teenagers are more likely to get cavities and sealants will help protect their teeth. However, adults can have dental sealants placed as well. Be aware that sealants can only be placed on teeth that have no decay or dental fillings. Your dental sealants will last for years and can be replaced when needed.
Before placing dental sealants, your dentist will first clean the teeth thoroughly. Then a solution is placed on the teeth that creates a rough surface for the dental sealants to attach to. The solution is rinsed off and the teeth are dried. The dental sealant is then painted onto the teeth, where it bonds into place. A special light can be used to speed up the curing process. When you come in for routine dental appointments, your dentist will monitor the condition of your sealants and reapply them when necessary.