A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the
teeth and causing decay. They are the cornerstones of modern preventive dentistry in the prevention of
caries susceptible teeth.
Sealants are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have
‘pits’ (small hollows) and ‘fissures’ (grooves) on their chewing surfaces. Some teeth naturally have deep
grooves which will need to be sealed; others have shallow ones which will not need sealing.
The process is usually, taking minimal time. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special
solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by focussing a
specialized light onto it.
It is totally pain-free, generally there is no difference felt afterwards.
Sealants usually last for many years, but your Doctor will check them regularly may call you for regular
checkups to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dental
team needs to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier they cover all the little crests and troughs on the surface of the tooth. Dental decay may easily start in these grooves if they are not sealed since these grooves serve as a harbour for bacteria and food particles. Once we seal them, the chance of food getting stuck to them is negligible.
Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to erupt in the mouth. This is
usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be
any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
Yes. It is mandatory still to keep the teeth clean. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep
clean and healthy with normal brushing. Using fluoride toothpaste, the last thing at night and at least one other time during the day will help to protect your teeth. Pit and fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and the number of fillings your child might need.