Sealants are protective fillings placed on permanent molars, and occasionally premolars, to help prevent decay on the chewing surface. Sealants are recommended for teeth that have deep grooves, as they are more likely to trap bacteria which cause cavities. Ideally, sealants are placed as soon as the six-year and twelve-year molars are erupted.
Sealants are placed by dentists and hygienists. To the delight of many patients, anesthetic is not needed for sealant placement. The tooth surface is cleaned and dried, and the thin, sealant material is placed and cured. Then the bite is checked and adjusted if necessary.
Sealants are a good preventative treatment that is appropriate for most patients. Sealants protect against harmful food particles and plaque from getting to the teeth, preventing cavities. Sealants are great for kids still learning how to brush or patients that are susceptible to tooth decay. Good oral hygiene is still important after sealant placement, as there are still surfaces of the tooth that cannot be sealed and are susceptible to decay.
If you or your child might be a good candidate for sealants, please call your local DHC office!