Tooth decay often occurs in the chewing surface of back teeth. To prevent the chance of cavities forming in these areas, sealants are applied.
What is a sealant?
A sealant is a clear shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where tooth decay occurs most often. Sealants act as a barrier, protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth from plaque and acid.
Fact: Even a single tooth brush bristle is too large to reach inside the pits and fissures of the molars.
How are sealants applied?
Each tooth takes only a few minutes to seal. First, the teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. The chewing surfaces are then etched (roughened) with a weak acidic solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth surface. Finally the sealant is brushed on and and allowed to harden. Some sealants need a special curing light to help them harden; others do not.