Sealants are applied to help prevent cavities. The sealant material is a liquid that is painted onto the chewing surface of a tooth, which then hardens into a thin protective coating of plastic. The material seals off the deep grooves on the chewing surface of the teeth.
Cavity prevention is the most common usage for sealants. Sealants cannot be applied to teeth that have already started to decay, or have been previously filled. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sealants are a great preventative tool against tooth decay.
Anyone with healthy teeth can benefit from this ounce of prevention, especially children. For best results, dental care for children should start at around the age of three. Sealants are even used on primary teeth, which are important placeholders until the permanent teeth come in.
There is no discomfort associated with the sealant procedure and it is not complicated. Cotton will be placed inside the mouth to absorb moisture while the sealants are being applied. A special curing light will harden the sealant after it has been painted onto the teeth. An entire mouth can be sealed in forty-five minutes.
There are no after effects to the sealant procedure.
What to Expect
Sealants will last a very long time and will help to prevent cavities in the chewing surfaces of the teeth. A six month visit to the dentist will ensure that they are still protecting at full capacity. If any erosion of the sealant material has occurred, it can be easily replaced. Sealants are one of the best ways to keep the teeth free of decay. Combined with the use of topical fluoride and excellent oral hygiene, you should expect a clean bill of health at each of your regular dental check ups.