The chewing surfaces of our back teeth have many grooves and pits that can easily trap food debris. These areas are highly susceptible to tooth decay because it is easy for decay causing bacteria to colonize these areas and remain undisturbed from toothbrushes. Placing a sealant in these pits and grooves can eliminate the risk of developing tooth decay.
Dental sealants are fluid resins that are applied to these pits and grooves to act as a barrier against decay.
Our teeth are covered by a film of bacteria called “plaque”. When we consume sugary food or drinks, the bacteria in plaque breaks down the sugars to produce acids. These acids lead to tooth decay. Placing dental sealants can prevent plaque formation in those areas of the teeth where the bristles of toothbrushes cannot reach.
Teeth are cleaned thoroughly and the chewing surfaces are prepared to take up the sealant.
The sealant is next painted onto the chewing surface.
A special light can be sometimes used to cure the resin.
Tooth-colored sealants are esthetic and not visible when you smile.
How Long Do They Last?
Sealants can last for many years. But they require replacement once they wear out or fracture. Regular dental check-ups will ensure that your dentist detects the need for a replacement before decay can occur in and around failed sealants.
Who Needs Them?
These age groups are susceptible to decay, and therefore, benefit from sealant placement.
Getting sealants placed are not mandatory though. If you maintain good oral hygiene and follow good oral practices, you can reduce the risk of tooth decay. After all prevention is better than cure.