Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars) to prevent tooth decay. The sealant material is usually a plastic resin that is bonded to the tooth enamel, creating a barrier that protects the teeth from plaque and food particles that can cause decay.
Dental sealants are typically recommended for children and teenagers, as their newly erupted permanent teeth are more susceptible to decay. However, they can also be applied to adult teeth if they have deep grooves or pits that make them difficult to clean.
The application of dental sealants is a quick and painless procedure that can be done during a routine dental check-up. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried, and the sealant material is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth using a brush or other applicator. The sealant is then cured (hardened) using a special light.
Dental sealants can last up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance. They are a cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and can help to avoid the need for more invasive dental procedures, such as fillings or crowns. However, it's important to note that dental sealants do not replace proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, and regular dental check-ups.