Dental sealant is a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
When to place sealants and which tooth?
Sealants are recommended for newly erupted molars and premolars.
Procedure in applying sealants
Your dentist will know what appliance is best for your particular problem but you often have a choice. Braces generally come in three varieties: Traditional Braces, Self-Ligating Braces and Clear Aligners (Invisalign).
- Teeth will be cleaned thoroughly.
- Each tooth is dried with cotton or gauze.
- An acid solution is placed on the grooves of the teeth to roughen the area, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
- The teeth are then rinsed and air dried.
- Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. A special light curing machine is used to help the sealant harden.
In some cases, tooth sealants need to be reapplied since they can break. Regular visits to your dentist for a general check-up are necessary for reapplication and to maintain good oral health.