What Are Dental Sealants (Tooth Sealants)?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surface of the patient’s premolars and molars. Dental sealants are a solid line of defense against tooth decay. As the name indicates, sealants bond quickly into depressions in the teeth and form a protective shield over the tooth’s enamel.
While brushing and flossing offer defense against particles and plaque, they do not adequately protect irregularities in the tooth’s surface. When sealants are properly applied, plague and food particles cannot accumulate on the surface.
Children and teenagers can benefit greatly from sealants that protect the molars and premolars while they are in their formative stages (pediatric dentistry). Sealants are also used by adults who do not have decay or fillings in their molars.
Most children receive sealants as soon their teeth arrive. This helps baby teeth hold the correct spacing for their permanent teeth.
Again, it is important to understand that tooth decay can happen in the small, almost unnoticeable indentations or flaws in the tooth’s surface. In addition to sealing the chewing area of the tooth, the enamel is also protected.
Some, but not all, insurance companies cover dental sealants. In the long-term, dental sealants can provide significant health benefits and excellent oral hygiene. If you have questions about whether you or your children can benefit from dental sealants, please contact us.
Sealants Offer Protection from Bacteria and Acid
One of the preventative measures that we implement is sealants. Sealants are tooth colored resins that are bonded to the grooves and pits that are developmentally formed in the tooth enamel. They provide a smooth surface that bacteria cannot penetrate, and therefore help to prevent decay. A fluoride release from the sealant also helps to prevent decay around the sealant.
Sealants are a great way to protect teeth before bacteria and acid can damage them. We highly encourage placement, especially on adult molars.