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Sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and any deep grooves known as pits and fissures found on teeth. Over 75% of dental decay starts in these grooves, making teeth with such conditions difficult to clean and highly susceptible to decay. By sealing these deep grooves, a smooth and easily cleaned surface is created, providing protection to the tooth.
Sealants can effectively shield teeth from decay for several years but should be examined for wear and chipping during routine dental check-ups.
When are sealants recommended?
- For Children and Teenagers: Sealants are advisable as soon as the six-year molars, the first permanent back teeth, appear, or at any point between the ages of 6 and 16, which are the cavity-prone years.
- For Adults: Sealants are beneficial for tooth surfaces without decay but have deep grooves or depressions.
What does the sealant application involve?
Applying sealants is a painless process performed by your dentist or dental hygienist, requiring no anesthesia. The teeth to be sealed are first cleaned thoroughly and then isolated with cotton to maintain dryness. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface, enhancing the bonding of the sealant to the teeth. After rinsing and drying the teeth, the sealant material is meticulously painted onto the enamel surface, covering the deep grooves or depressions. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with the aid of a specialized curing light.
The longevity of your sealants is supported by proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits. These measures contribute significantly to preserving the effectiveness of your newly applied sealants.