Dental sealants are a thin plastic material that is applied to the surface of your teeth to help prevent cavities from forming. Sealants are applied to the chewing surface of the molars (the back teeth) and form a shield against bacteria and food particles. As long as the sealant remains intact, bacteria cannot get to the enamel and cause tooth decay.
Dental sealants are generally applied to children’s teeth soon after the molars have erupted or when an adult molar replaces a baby tooth, but dental sealants can be an effective treatment for prevention of tooth decay in adults. Preventing tooth decay is much preferable to restoring a decayed tooth with a filling. Your natural tooth material is far superior to composite or amalgam fillings.
In addition, placing a filling requires removal of some of the healthy tooth. Since filling have to be replaced every ten to fifteen years, over time more and more healthy tooth is lost. This problem can be avoided by preventing the tooth decay in first place.
Molars are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. Molars have deep crevices that are easily missed by your tooth brush. The lowest points of the crevices can be too small for a bristle to penetrate which provides an ideal spot for bacteria to gather and for tooth decay to form.
Applying a dental sealant will fill the crevices and prevent bacteria from attacking the surface of the tooth. Sealant is easily applied by your dentist in a short, painless procedure that involves no drilling or other invasive preparation. The sealant is applied by painting it on the surface of the tooth and hardens in a few minutes.
Teeth sealing is inexpensive and the sealants will generally last for years. Your dentist will check the condition of the sealant during routine exams and replace any damaged sealant. Sealants are much less expensive than fillings or other restorations and preserve your natural teeth.
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