Dental Tooth Sealants
Sealants help prevent tooth decay and cavities on the chewing surface of your back teeth (molars). These teeth are vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are erupt with significant grooves which can collect food. Small sticky particles of food can remain in these microscopic grooves even though the surface seems to be clean. Sealants penetrate these grooves and provide a smooth barrier which food has trouble sticking to. Molars first erupt at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars fully erupt to provide early protection.
The procedure requires no anesthesia. A conditioning liquid is painted on the tooth surface. After this liquid is rinsed off and the tooth dried, the liquid sealant is then painted into the prepared grooves. An ultraviolet light then is used to set the sealant thereby creating a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants can last for about 10 years and can easily be reapplied if necessary. Avoiding sticky foods helps in the retention of sealants.