A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
Where Sealants May Benefit:
- Children and teenagers – Ages 6-16 tend to be cavity prone years. Sealants may be applied as soon as the six year molars (first permanent back teeth) appear, or at any time during these years.
- Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves may be protected and preserved with sealants.
- Baby teeth – Occasionally even baby teeth may have deep grooves, which, if not sealed, can cause a child to be cavity prone.