WHAT ARE SEALANTS?
Sealants are a safe and painless way to protect teeth from decay. A sealant is a coating which is applied to the biting surfaces of the molars and premolars. It forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth, making them easier to clean and therefore prevent decay.
HOW DO SEALANTS WORK?
The sealant forms a smooth, hard barrier covering all the small grooves/pits on the tooth’s surface. The sealant is usually placed on the molars or premolars, as these teeth have deeper grooves or pits which are more likely to decay. Children’s first adult molars are the most common teeth for sealant placement, generally at age six or seven. The sealant helps protect the new teeth while children learn to properly brush.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A SEALANT PLACEMENT?
The process is quick and painless. The tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution to remove microscopic debris and bacteria and then dried. The tooth-coloured liquid sealant is applied and hard set using a special light.
HOW LONG DOES A SEALANT LAST?
Sealants will last for many years, but do wear over time and may need to be replaced or repaired. Your dentist or oral health therapist will check the sealants during your active maintenance appointment.