Dental sealants have been used for more than two decades. They can benefit children and adults. The likelihood of developing tooth decay on the chewing surfaces begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates for sealants. Adults can benefit from sealants, too, because you never “outgrow” cavities. Sealants protect vulnerable areas, such as pits and fissures especially on the back teeth, called premolars and molars.
The procedure is simple and fast and there is little, if any, discomfort. First, the teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and conditioned. The dentist/hygienist then applies the sealant to the tooth’s chewing surface where it bonds with the enamel. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth’s chewing surface will be protected from decay. Sealants, which hold up well under the incredible force of everyday chewing, usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. Their condition is checked during your regular examinations.
Please don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist/hygienist about the benefits of sealants.