What is Dental Sealant?

What is Dental Sealant? TotalDentalcaretips.com

A dental sealant is a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, specifically the molars and premolars, to prevent tooth decay. This coating, made of a plastic resin material, seals the grooves and pits on these teeth, creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean and less likely to harbor bacteria and food particles that can cause cavities.

Here are the key aspects of dental sealants:

  1. Purpose: The primary goal of dental sealants is to protect teeth from decay by providing a barrier against plaque and acids.
  2. Application Process:
    • Cleaning: The tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris.
    • Etching: An acidic gel is applied to the tooth surface to roughen it slightly, helping the sealant adhere better.
    • Rinsing and Drying: The gel is rinsed off, and the tooth is dried.
    • Application: The sealant is painted onto the tooth surface.
    • Curing: A special curing light may be used to harden the sealant.
  3. Effectiveness: Dental sealants can reduce the risk of cavities significantly. They are particularly effective for children and teenagers, whose newly erupted permanent molars are most susceptible to decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than those with sealants.
  4. Longevity: Sealants can last several years but need to be checked regularly by a dentist. They can be reapplied if they become worn or damaged.
  5. Ideal Candidates: While sealants are most commonly applied to children and teenagers, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from them.

In summary, dental sealants are an effective preventive measure to maintain oral health and protect teeth from decay, particularly in young children and teenagers.

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