Dental sealants are thin protective coatings of plastic that are applied directly to the biting surface of the back teeth. The deep fissures of the molars are difficult to clean, which makes them prone to tooth decay. Tooth decay will cause small holes in the enamel of a tooth, which creates a cavity that needs to be filled. If the decay has already started working on the enamel, dental sealants cannot be applied to the surface of a tooth.
Molars already have small cracks on the surface area, which can easily allow food debris and bacteria to get stuck and cause cavities. Keeping the small fissures clean is important to help the molars remain healthy. Sealing these tiny cracks with a hard coating is the ideal way to provide extra protection to the teeth.
Do Dental Sealants Hurt?
Dental sealants are an in-office procedure that only takes a few minutes to apply. Your teeth will not feel differently after the procedure and the sealant will last for several years. The sealants need to be checked on by Dr. Malan during your bi-yearly examinations and cleanings.
How Does the Dental Sealant Procedure Work?
Dental sealants are easy to apply as Dr. Malan will clean the tooth and use a small brush or drill to prepare the tooth surface. The gel is applied to the surface of the tooth, allowing the sealant to bond securely to the tooth. The sealant is essentially painted to the tooth, and hardened with a curing lamp. The sealant will set and form a hard plastic coating on top of the tooth. We will then make adjustments to the plastic coating if it is too high when you bite down.
Dental sealants will last approximately 3 to 5 years. If the sealant chips or breaks, additional application is needed. Contact our office for more information about dental sealants.