What is a Dental Sealant?
A dental sealant is a hard resin that is used to fill in small grooves and fissures that naturally occur on your teeth. These grooves and fissures can be difficult to clean which makes them optimal areas for bacteria to gather and create tooth decay. Sealing these areas creates a smoother surface that will not trap food and bacteria as easily and it is also easier to clean. Sealants are placed on the surface of the tooth called the occlusal surface or in other words, the chewing surface of the tooth.
Who Can Get a Sealant?
Any person who does not have any preexisting decay in their teeth can get those teeth sealed. Many times we associate dental sealants with children because they are typically good candidates, but the truth is that adults or kids can get sealants if their teeth are healthy.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Take?
Dental sealants are a relatively quick procedure and can typically be done for all of your teeth in under an hour. The process boils down to two steps: application and curing. This is often a procedure that can be fit into an existing appointment if the dentist determines that the patient is a good candidate or that they would benefit from getting sealants.
Are Dental Sealants Effective?
Sealants effectively fill problem areas that could trap food debris and bacteria. For this reason, many dentists and dental hygienists suggest getting dental sealants wherever possible. We recommend sealants for anyone who has potentially problematic areas on a tooth with no existing restorations or decay on that surface.
What Do Sealants Look Like?
You have probably talked to dozens of people in your life who have sealants without ever noticing. That is because they are tooth colored, and if the dentist does a good job at matching the color, they are virtually invisible to the untrained eye.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants are quite durable. While they are probably not going to last as long as your natural teeth, if you take care of them, they can last as long as almost any other restoration. You should expect that with the appropriate care, your sealants will last for at least five years.