Dental Sealants

Prevention is always better than treatment.

Sealants are very useful in preventing tooth decay on the back teeth and can save patients money over

time. Your dentist can make sealants part of you plan for a healthy mouth. Tooth decay often begins on

the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces have pits and grooves that trap plaque, bacteria,

and bits of food. The pits and grooves are hard to keep clean, because toothbrush bristles cannot reach

into them.

That is how decay starts in the pits and grooves, and cavities form. To keep decay from starting here, the

dentist may recommend dental sealants.

How do sealants work?

A dental sealant is a plastic material (resin) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The

sealant material flows into the pits and grooves in the teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting

enamel by sealing out plaque, bacteria, and food.

Who should get sealants?

Sealants are most often placed in children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth

come in. Adults can sometimes benefit from sealants too, because you never outgrow the risk for

developing cavities.

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