Dental sealants, professionally applied by Dr. E, are intended to prevent cavities in the pits and fissures of teeth. It is a coating of plastic material that is bonded to the crevices of the teeth, acting to block the decay-prone grooves.
Tooth sealants are designed to protect all posterior (back) teeth that do not have clinical indications of decay. They are particularly useful to prevent cavities on the first and second molars. Children can begin with sealants when the first molars come in, usually between the ages of 5-7. Additional sealants can be applied when the second molars begin to erupt at ages 11-14. Adults may also benefit from sealants on the biting surfaces of their molars and/or premolars that have no previous decay.
Why Are Dental Sealants Necessary?
While brushing and flossing are great for preventing cavities, many teeth have tiny grooves, referred to as pits and fissures, where food and bacteria often get trapped. The bristles of a toothbrush can’t adequately reach these areas and tooth decay is most likely to develop. By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, and thus decrease the risk of decay.
Dental sealants are durable and hold up well under normal chewing conditions. They usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. The professional staff at Dr. E’s office will let you know if you can benefit from sealants and will check the condition of any existing sealants during your regular dental visits.