Dental sealants act as a barrier,protecting the teeth against decay causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
How Does a sealant help prevent decay?
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth-premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth.But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque.Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by " sealing out" plaque and food.
Is sealant application a complicated procedure?
Sealants are easy for your dentist 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 sealants is then painted onto adhere to the tooth. Then sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a speacial curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How long do sealants Last?
The amount of time your sealant can last can vary from person to person. Generally, a period of 3 to 5 years is considered successful.
Sealants are just for kids right?
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.