Dental sealants are a thin coating which is applied to the back teeth. The sealant is placed directly on the grooves of the chewing surface. Dental sealants are a wonderful way to protect teeth from cavities and decay because they keep food particles out of the grooves on the surface of the rear teeth.
How are Sealants Applied?
There is neither drilling nor removal of the tooth structure to apply sealants. In fact, it's a very short and easy process which begins with a sound cleaning of the teeth. Once the teeth are cleaned a special gel is placed on the chewing surface. After just a few seconds, the gel is washed away and the teeth are dried. Once this is done, the sealant is painted on to each tooth. The sealant will then harden and form its protective shield over the tooth. And it only takes about a minute for the sealant to harden.
How Long Will Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. But, they should always be checked at each regular annual examination. If for some reason a sealant may not be in place, it can easily be reapplied.
When Should my Child get Sealants?
We recommend that sealants be placed for children upon the arrival of their permanent first molars which is generally around age 6. Once the second set of permanent molars erupts, around age 12, sealants should again be applied.